Foreign Policies of the CIS States: A Comprehensive Reference 9781626378087

How do the former Soviet republics that now constitute the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) interact with each o

191 73 7MB

English Pages 517 [528] Year 2022

Report DMCA / Copyright


Recommend Papers

Foreign Policies of the CIS States: A Comprehensive Reference

  • 0 0 0
  • Like this paper and download? You can publish your own PDF file online for free in a few minutes! Sign Up
File loading please wait...
Citation preview

Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Foreign Policies OF THE

CIS States A Comprehensive Reference edited by

Denis Degterev Konstantin Kurylev

b o u l d e r l o n d o n

Published in the United States of America in 2019 by Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. 1800 30th Street, Boulder, Colorado 80301 and in the United Kingdom by Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. Gray’s Inn House, 127 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1 5DB © 2019 by Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A Cataloging-in-Publication record for this book is available from the Library of Congress. ISBN 978-1-62637-785-1 (hardcover) British Cataloguing in Publication Data A Cataloguing in Publication record for this book is available from the British Library. Printed and bound in the United States of America The paper used in this publication meets the requirements of the American National Standard for Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials Z39.48-1992. 5







1 Integration Processes in the Commonwealth of Independent States 2 Republic of Armenia

3 Republic of Azerbaijan

vii 1



4 Republic of Belarus


6 Kyrgyz Republic


5 Republic of Kazakhstan


7 Republic of Moldova


8 Russian Federation


9 Republic of Tajikistan


10 Turkmenistan


11 Ukraine


12 Republic of Uzbekistan

Appendixes 1 Basic Documents of the Commonwealth of Independent States 2 Basic Documents of the Collective Security Treaty Organization 3 Basic Documents of the Eurasian Economic Commission, Customs Union, Eurasian Economic Space, and Eurasian Economic Union v


456 460 463



4 Participants of the CIS Network University 5 Agreements on Joint Education on Postgraduate (Master’s) Programs in the CIS Network University 6 Doctrinal Documents of the CIS Countries 7 Membership in International Organizations (Defense, Security, Politics) 8 Membership in International Organizations (Economy, Religion, Culture) 9 The Closeness of Positions of CIS Member States in Terms of Roll-Call Voting in the UN General Assembly (47th–70th Sessions) to the Positions of Other CIS States and G20 States 10 Statements by Representatives of CIS Member States on the General Debate of the 64th–71st Sessions of the UN General Assembly 11 Network of Diplomatic Missions of CIS Member States Abroad 12 Bilateral Cooperation of CIS Countries and Neighboring Countries: Basic Agreements 13 Trade and Economic Relations of CIS States in 2016

The Contributors Index About the Book

466 467 469 471 471 472 474 475 478 479 481 489 517


This book is unique for a number of reasons. First, the chapters on foreign policy of all nine countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) that have signed the organization’s charter have been compiled by researchers from these countries. More than sixty experts from the nine CIS countries, representing more than twenty universities, have contributed to the book. The core of the team consists of representatives of those universities that are members of the CIS Network University (CIS NU)—an educational consortium formed by the initiative expressed at a meeting of the Council of Heads of States of the CIS member states in December 2010. The CIS NU project was implemented with the support of the Interstate Humanitarian Cooperation Fund (IHCF) of the CIS member states, and since 2014 the initiative has been implemented within the framework of a series of agreements on double-degree master’s programs. The Coordination Council of the CIS NU educational consortium is led by RUDN University.1 V. M. Filippov, the rector and chairman of the Higher Attestation Commission of the Russian Federation, is a member of the CIS Council for Cooperation in Education. It is no coincidence that RUDN University, with its traditions of friendship and communication among students from more than 150 countries of the world, became an academic platform that united the leading CIS researchers in the field of international relations. Second, the chapters on foreign policy of the CIS countries have a similar structure, which makes it easy to compare the main features of the foreign policy of the countries of the Commonwealth. Each chapter consists of four sections and a list of suggested readings. In the first section, the foreign policy potential of a member state of the Commonwealth is reviewed. The second section is dedicated to the evolution of foreign policy doctrines and the vii



specifics of foreign policy decisions. The third section examines the main foreign policy priorities, including cooperation with key partner countries and international organizations. Finally, in the fourth section, the features of economic diplomacy and foreign economic policy of the member countries of the Commonwealth are examined. The first chapter is dedicated to the integration processes in the CIS space in the political, economic, military, and humanitarian spheres. Third, the thirteen appendixes are an important addition to the national approaches of the chapters. In the appendixes, the main parameters of the international cooperation of the CIS countries are explored, including the ratification of the main agreements within the CIS, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) (Appendixes 1–3); participation of the CIS countries in educational cooperation within CIS NU (Appendixes 4–5); doctrinal documents of CIS countries on foreign policy and security, as well as on their strategic development (Appendix 6); and parameters of cooperation with twenty international organizations and forums (Appendixes 7–8). Particular emphasis is on the participation of the CIS countries in the activities of the United Nations (UN), including the quantitative analysis of their voting at the forty-seventh through seventieth sessions of the UN General Assembly (Appendix 9), and their representatives during general debates at the sixty-fourth through seventy-first sessions (Appendix 10). The authors systematically explore the variety of bilateral relations of the CIS countries. The first step in this regard was the analysis of the network of diplomatic missions of the CIS countries in various regions of the world (Appendix 11). It should be noted that most of the CIS countries have embassies in most states of the Commonwealth, which certainly contributes to the strengthening of mutual understanding among them. Based on a study of the diplomatic missions network, 115 pairs of states were singled out within the framework of bilateral cooperation of the CIS states and neighboring countries (Appendix 12). The dynamics of trade and economic relations of the CIS countries with their largest trading partners are compared (Appendix 13). The texts of the main documents that are noted in the appendixes are posted on the RUDN University Expert Portal on International Relations ( ***

The editors would like to thank the editorial board, the CIS Executive Committee, the Coordinating Council of the CIS Network University, and all the contributors to this volume. We would like to express our gratitude to the reviewers: E. P. Bazhanov (doctor of historical sciences), head of the Diplomatic Academy of the Min-



istry of Foreign Affairs of Russia; M. S. Imanaliyev (doctor of historical sciences), secretary-general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) (2010–2012) and minister of foreign affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic (1991– 1992, 1997–2002); and B. K. Sultanov (doctor of historical sciences), director of the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the president of the Republic of Kazakhstan (2005–2014). —Denis Degterev and Konstantin Kurylev 1. S. A. Kovalenko and N. G. Smolik, “RUDN University Participation in the Activities of the CIS Network University,” Vestnik RUDN: International Relations, no. 4 (2014), pp. 207–213.


1 Integration Processes in the Commonwealth of Independent States

The CIS Institutionalization Process1 In December 1991, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) disintegrated, and fifteen new independent states emerged, of which twelve founded a new regional association—the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Many experts regard the establishment of the CIS as the most significant historical event in the post-Soviet space after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The very fact of its emergence allowed the nation to avoid the Yugoslavian scenario of the country’s disintegration into bloody civil wars, to mitigate the social and economic repercussions of the dissolution of a unified state, to preserve and develop, on a new basis, historical ties between ethnic groups who lived in the Soviet Union. Moreover, within the framework of the CIS, new integration initiatives in the post-Soviet space started to emerge, and a search began for essentially new forms of cooperation, which needed to be filled with new substance corresponding to changed political realities and global development trends. The Belavezha Accords, the Alma-Ata Decisions, and the CIS Charter

The dissolution of the USSR was formalized de jure on December 8, 1991, at Viskuli (Belavezha Forest), a countryside residence of the Byelorussian government, where heads of Byelorussia, Russia, and Ukraine signed the Agreement on the Establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States. It said that “the Union of SSR, as a subject of international law and a geopolitical reality, ceases its existence.” During the few days after the signing of that document, the Supreme Councils of Ukraine, Byelorussia, and the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) denounced the 1922 Treaty on the Creation of the USSR. 1


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

In the agreement, the parties declared adherence to the principles of respect for national sovereignty, of equality of rights and noninterference in internal affairs, and rejection of the use of force or any other methods of pressure in addressing contentious matters. The agreement was declared open for accession by other former Soviet republics or other nations sharing the goals and principles of that document. On the night of December 12 to 13, 1991, leaders of Central Asian republics—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan—met in Ashgabat. The outcome of a long nocturnal discussion was the approval of the Belavezha Accords by them and their stated willingness to join the CIS as founders. On December 21, 1991, leaders of eleven former union republics (excluding the Baltic nations, which had withdrawn from the USSR before, and Georgia, which chose not to participate) met in Almaty and signed a protocol to the founding agreement and the Alma-Ata Declaration, which reaffirmed the endeavor of Commonwealth nations to establish cooperation in various areas of internal and foreign policy. Those documents, alongside the December 8, 1991, founding agreement, are the founding documents of the CIS. In December 1993, Georgia joined the CIS as its twelfth member. The CIS Charter, adopted in January 1993 (it was never signed by Turkmenistan and Ukraine), embodied the following important purposes of the Commonwealth: • Accomplishment of cooperation in political, economic, ecologic, humanitarian, and other spheres. • Balanced economic and social development within the framework of common economic space. • Interstate integration. • Safeguarding human rights and basic freedoms, and cooperation in safeguarding world peace and security. • Promotion of freedom of communications, contacts, and travels in the Commonwealth for citizens of its member states. • Mutual legal assistance and cooperation in other spheres of legal relations. • Pacific settlement of disputes and conflicts.

The organization’s charter distinguishes between original members (the states that have signed and ratified the founding agreement and its protocol—those are Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine); member states of the CIS—those that have assumed the obligations under the charter within one year after its having been adopted by the Council of Heads of States (Georgia became a member of the CIS in December 1993); and associate members (since August 2005, Turkmenistan has participated in CIS activities as an associate member).

Integration Processes


Establishing the CIS, the founding nations proposed well-defined objectives for the new organization. First was to dissolve the USSR with the fewest side effects; to settle complicated matters related to guarantees of compliance with international commitments of the former USSR, including division of union property, implementation of international treaties and those that regarded control of the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons; and to promote international recognition and sovereignty of the republics. Second was to take into account joined experience of interaction within the boundaries of one country and in a common economy, to create a common economic, political, cultural, and educational space of the new independent states on the basis of new cooperation principles. The CIS managed to handle the first set of tasks quite successfully, while the second task—building an effective integration association— turned out to be more complicated, because of a number of objective reasons. Member nations of the Commonwealth were seeing complicated processes of finding national identity; those countries were trying to identify their own foreign policy priorities, to optimize relations with the outer world. It was necessary to find cooperation mechanisms, which would allow partners within the CIS to interact at the intergovernmental level, thus reinforcing their statehood, to safeguard themselves from external and internal challenges and threats. Within the framework of the Commonwealth, a ramified institutional structure was built, and CIS interstate governing bodies were established: the Council of Heads of States, Council of Heads of Governments, Interparliamentary Assembly, Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, CIS Economic Council, CIS Economic Court, Council of Permanent Authorized Representatives of Commonwealth Member Nations at Constituent and Other Bodies of the Commonwealth, and CIS Executive Committee. The supreme body of the CIS is the Council of Heads of States. The powers invested in the Council of Heads of States include decisionmaking on matters of principle related to common interests of member nations. It also makes decisions on amending the CIS Charter, creating new and abolishing old bodies of the Commonwealth, and improvement of the structure and activities of its bodies. The Council meets twice a year. Extraordinary meetings can be convened at the initiative of any member nation. The Council of Heads of Governments coordinates cooperation of executive public authority bodies of the CIS countries in economic, social, and other areas of common interest. The Council of Heads of Governments holds meetings four times a year. In accordance with the CIS Charter and internal regulations, decisionmaking in both Councils is based on consensus. Any The CIS Governing Bodies


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

country may declare its lack of interest in any matter, and this may not be considered as an obstacle for making a decision. Heads of states and heads of governments chair meetings of respective Councils on a rotating basis, according to the names of the respective Commonwealth countries by the Russian alphabet. Within the framework of the organization, CIS sectorspecific cooperation bodies function in various areas of activities. The Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs is an executive body of the Commonwealth; between meetings of the Council of Heads of States and Council of Heads of Governments, the ministerial council carries out, based on decisions of the latter two, cooperation in foreign policy activities of CIS countries. Within the framework of the CIS, the Council of Defense Ministers ensures interaction on military policy and development of military capability on the basis of the Concept of Military Cooperation of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States, through 2020, which was adopted on October 16, 2015. Social and economic issues were passed to the purview of the Coordination and Consultative Committee, a standing executive and coordinating body of the CIS. A key role in building a common economic space was assigned to the Interstate Economic Committee of the Economic Union, which was set up in 1994. Since 2000, it is the Economic Council that handles social and economic interaction within the framework of the CIS. In order to ensure performance of economic obligations within the framework of the CIS, the Economic Court has been functioning since 1992; it is called to settle disputes that may arise in the performance of economic obligations and to construe provisions of the Commonwealth’s agreements and other statutory acts on economic matters. On the basis of the 1992 Agreement on the Interparliamentary Assembly of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Interparliamentary Assembly was established. It holds interparliamentary consultations and drafts advisory statutes, and promotes exchange of legal information between member nations. The body has drafted a few dozens of such acts—for instance, the civil, penal, and criminal procedural codes. After the Convention on the Interparliamentary Assembly of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States, signed in 1995, became effective, the Interparliamentary Assembly received a formal status and all rights of an independent international organization. The Interparliamentary Assembly’s headquarters is located in St. Petersburg. In April 1999, at a Special Interstate Forum in Moscow, issues related to CIS activities and CIS reform were discussed. The forum attendees passed a resolution to submit a number of documents for the consideration of the Council of Heads of States and Council of Heads of Governments, including a draft regulation on the CIS structure. A decision was made to improve and reform the structure of bodies of the Commonwealth of Inde-

Integration Processes


pendent States, which was recorded in a declaration of heads of CIS member states on the principal vectors of development of the Commonwealth of Independent States. The Executive Committee of the CIS was reorganized; it is a common standing executive, administrative, and coordinating body that organizes work of the Council of Heads of States, Council of Heads of Governments, Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Economic Council, and other bodies. The most important functions of the Executive Committee include development of proposals on the Commonwealth’s development priorities and prospects, analysis of the progress in the implementation of decisions and treaties concluded within the framework of the CIS, and coordination and analysis of activities of the sectoral unit. The committee consists of departments and other structural divisions. Thus, the institutional structure of the CIS formed in the first half of the 1990s was significantly improved at the turn of the twenty-first century. One specific feature of the decisionmaking mechanism within the framework of the CIS is the unique rule of “consensus of interested parties.” Article 23 of the CIS Charter allows any member of the group to declare its lack of interest in addressing any issue. It means that resolutions of the Commonwealth’s coordinating bodies can be adopted not by all but only by interested parties. However, those resolutions are considered legitimate and binding only on the parties involved in their adoption. Economic and political interests of the Commonwealth’s countries did not always coincide, which led to considerable differences in national approaches to the preparation of drafts of common resolutions and in the implementation of the documents adopted within the framework of the Commonwealth. A certain part of them either remained in the dormant state or, if they were used at all, fell far short of their full extent or intent. There are many reasons for this—for instance, peculiarities of the regulatory framework, which does not provide for liability for a failure to fulfill obligations. Imperfections and lack of harmonization across national legislations of CIS countries are worth noting, insofar as ratification deadlines and implementation of internal procedures with respect to international treaties are concerned. In October 1997, a summit of heads of states of the CIS was held in Chisinau, where Boris Yeltsin, then chairman of the Commonwealth Council, emphasized the following: “Within the framework of the CIS, progress has been all too modest. In some vectors, we are making no headway. And in some others, we are seeing a backslide. . . . Mechanisms The Decisionmaking Mechanism


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

From December 8, 1991, through December 1996 alone, 789 documents were adopted within the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States, including 330 at meetings of the Council of Heads of States and 459 at meetings of the Council of Heads of Governments of the Commonwealth (see Appendix 1). Out of them, 704 took effect from their signing day, and 85 required ratification or implementation of internal procedures by CIS member nations and submission of respective documents to the CIS Executive Secretariat. Out of the 26 documents that required ratification, 18 entered into force, while the others did not take effect because they lack a required number of ratification instruments or approval documents. Out of the 59 documents that required implementation of internal procedures, only 40 entered into force, while the others did not collect the required number of notices on the implementation of internal procedures.

of the Commonwealth are working, as they did before, by fits and starts. . . . Our Commonwealth is being destroyed by the chronic gap between joint resolutions and their implementation. Endless red-tape causes damage to the prestige of the CIS and its members.” After the Chisinau meeting, leaders of CIS countries managed to find a civilized mechanism of working out a new development concept of the Commonwealth—a special interstate forum. The initiative put forward by presidents of Russia and Ukraine found support of all heads of state of the Commonwealth. To ensure better coordination of the countries within the framework of the Commonwealth, CIS member nations adopted a number of joint resolutions on the most important economic and sociopolitical issues. Those included the CIS Further Development Concept, including an implementation plan, which was approved at the CIS Dushanbe summit on October 5, 2007. The document was signed by all member nations, except for Georgia and Turkmenistan. The CIS Further Development Concept identifies, in sufficient detail, priority vectors of the Commonwealth’s activities. The document refers to economic cooperation as an important priority for the CIS. It notes that economic ties across the CIS must be based on market principles, mutual respect, and advantage. The document says that “the economic goal of the CIS at the present stage must be finalization of the formation of a free-trade zone and its further improvement according to WTO principles, rules and standards.” During informal meetings of CIS heads of state on February 22, 2008, in Moscow and on June 6, 2008, in St. Petersburg, principal cooperation areas were identified and formulated: energy industry, transport, food security, building a free trade zone, development of nanotechnoloDevelopment Prospects

Integration Processes


gies, youth policy, migration, and the humanitarian sphere. At its October 10, 2008, meeting in Bishkek, the CIS Council of Heads of States approved in essence a draft Strategy of CIS Economic Development through 2020, which was adopted by the CIS Council of Heads of Governments on November 14, 2008, in Chisinau. The goals of the strategy are to ensure sustainable development and economic security, to enhance the well-being and living standards of people on the basis of the synergistic effect and the scale effect, to boost competitiveness of national economies of CIS member nations, and to reinforce nations’ positions in the global economic system. The strategy provides for the implementation in three stages: 2009–2011, 2012–2015, and 2016–2020. The mission of the first and second stages (to accelerate social and economic development of CIS member nations on the basis of a free trade zone) was largely achieved. In October 2011, the Treaty on a Free Trade Zone was signed (see Appendix 1), which regulates further development of mutual trade within the framework of the Commonwealth. At the third stage (2016–2020), building a regional market of the nano- and picotechnology industry is projected, as well as development of an innovative socially focused economy, design of new infrastructure projects in the nuclear power energy sector, use of alternative and renewable fuel and energy sources, and high-tech transportation systems. In September 2016, an international research conference on the theme “Twenty-five Years of the Commonwealth of Independent States: Results and Prospects” was held in Minsk, and a statement of heads of member nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States was released in Bishkek on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the CIS. The joint statement made a special emphasis on the willingness of CIS member nations to enhance efficiency of cooperation for the promotion of peace, good neighborly relations, and progress. Economic Integration in the CIS2 Integration in the CIS is determined by the objective context of a fastchanging world, as well as by security and sustainable development needs. Economic integration in the CIS takes into account practices of other interstate associations, without, however, attempting to copy them. CIS countries are trying to identify areas of cooperation that would be acceptable and beneficial for everyone. The key benefits of economic integration in the CIS space are: • Expansion of the market and cut of transaction costs (all CIS member nations are located within a common Eurasian space).


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

• Opportunities for attracting direct foreign investments, which tend to prefer large markets for building independent production facilities. • Economic proximity of countries, a vast number of major joint projects, and partnership with big businesses, not only to derive economic benefits but also to strengthen relations at the political level and open up an opportunity for a more active cooperation in the military, social, cultural, and other noneconomic areas. • Backing up new sectors of national industry. In today’s world, an international association is frequently regarded as a means of backing up local manufacturers, which could have a larger regional market. • Integration as a method of reinforcing bargaining positions within the framework of multilateral negotiations. • Promoting structural transformations in national economies by sharing best experiences in building a market economy, technology exchanges, and a subsidized pricing system. In 1993, member nations of the Commonwealth entered into the Treaty on Economic Union, for which not all of them were ready. The Commonwealth’s countries already had a common economy; therefore, they did not have to start According to a classic integration integration from scratch. They were pattern proposed by Hungarian still technologically interdependent; economist Béla Balassa, which they had common transport infrawas largely proven correct by the structure, interconnected communiexperience of the European Union cation networks, and energy grids. (EU), any integration association An agreement on creation of a freegoes through five stages: (1) a trade zone was concluded by CIS free trade zone; (2) a customs union; (3) a common market; (4) countries in 1994, but they did not an economic and currency union; sign the actual treaty at the Com(5) a political union. monwealth level until 2011. In 1995, the CIS members that were most actively involved in integration—the Russian Federation, Belarus, and Kazakhstan—entered into the Agreement on the Customs Union. The document proposed to eliminate barriers that could impede interaction of businesses of the parties to the treaty, to ensure conditions for a free exchange of goods and fair competition. Kyrgyzstan (in 1996) and Tajikistan (in 1999) later acceded to that treaty (see Appendix 3). However, the adopted agreements did not work to the full extent, and their parties, for all their willingness, did not manage to create a legal framework following the European Union’s example. Among the reasons A Model of Economic Integration

Integration Processes


for the integration failures, it is worth noting the lack of objective conditions for a cooperation model similar to the European one. New independent states reoriented their external economic ties to third countries. Economic policies of CIS countries differed in forms, pace, and choice of third countries as their preferred cooperation vectors, as a result of which different economic models emerged. Since the economic systems of CIS countries started to differ even more, there were difficulties in the harmonization of national legal systems and legislations within the framework of groups making unifying efforts. In economic integration, two groups of countries could be distinFor a number of reasons, Commonwealth nations adopted a guished: those that were active in model of multispeed and multipromoting development of integralevel integration, and that pattern tion processes and those that were was especially manifested in the interested in interaction in order to economic sphere. Multispeed inteaddress local issues. The first group gration means that every nation of countries (the Russian Federaindependently determines when it tion, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzwill accede to a certain international treaty, so parties to that stan, Armenia, and Tajikistan) set up treaty are at different levels of a few regional economic associaintegrational interaction. tions in various formats: the Union State of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation (1999), and the Eurasian Economic Community (2000), and later started to develop the Eurasian Economic Union. Bilateral ties between the Russian Federation and Belarus have intensified since 1992. On April 2, 1996, the Treaty on the Formation of an Association Between Belarus and Russia was signed, and on the same day a year later, on April 2, 1997, the Treaty on the Union of Belarus and Russia was signed. The Treaty on the Establishment of a Union State, signed on December 8, 1999, was ratified by the parliaments of both countries. On January 26, 2000, ratification instruments were exchanged, and the latter treaty took effect. The preamble of the treaty says that the parties signing it were “moved by a desire to continue the development of the integration processes set forth in the Treaty on the Formation of an Association between the Russian Federation and Belarus of April 2, 1996, the Treaty on the Union of Belarus and Russia of April 2, 1997, and the Charter of the Union of Belarus and Russia of May 23, 1997, and also in implementation of the provisions of the Declaration on the Further Unification of Russia and Belarus of December 25, 1998.”3 The Russian Federation and Belarus


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

The powers and authorities of the Union State include foreign policy, defense and security, budget, monetary and tax systems, customs issues, energy, transportation, and communication systems. The legal status of the association created by the treaty is a state. Article 3 says that the Union State “shall be based on the principles of sovereign equality of the participating States, voluntariness and conscientious fulfilment by them of their mutual obligations”—that is, on the principles of international law, which is characteristic of different subjects of international law. According to Article 6, each participating state shall retain, taking into account the powers voluntarily transferred to the Union State, its independence, territorial integrity, state structure, constitution, state flag, emblem, and other attributes of statehood. The participating states shall retain their membership in the United Nations (UN) and other international organizations. The possibility of a common membership in international organizations and other international associations shall be determined by a mutual agreement between the participating states. Article 60 (paragraph 2) provides for the primacy of the union legislation: “In the event of a conflict between a provision of a law or decree of the Union State and a provision of a domestic law of a participating State, the provision of the law or decree of the Union State shall prevail.” However, constitutions of the participating states shall take precedence: “This shall not apply to a conflict between the provisions of a law or decree of the Union State and provisions contained in the constitutions or constitutional acts of the participating States.” A ramified organizational structure of bodies was set up. The supreme body of the Union State is the Supreme State Council. It is composed of heads of states, heads of governments, and chairpersons of chambers of parliaments of Belarus and the Russian Federation. Meetings of the Supreme State Council are also attended by the chairperson of the Council of Ministers, the chairpersons of parliament chambers, and the chairperson of the Union State Court. Other principal bodies of the group are the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of Belarus and Russia, the Council of Ministers of the Union State, and the Permanent Committee of the Union State. Within the framework of the Union State, a number of joint programs are carried out, funded from the budget of the Union State. On February 26, 1999, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, and Tajikistan signed the Treaty on the Customs Union and Common Economic Space. The document, without specifying implementation deadlines, proposed elimination of customs control at internal borders, carrying out common economic policies and creation of a common market of The Eurasian Economic Community

Integration Processes


goods, services, labor, and capital, unification of national legislations, and pursuing a coordinated social, scientific, and technological policy. The agreement became the foundation of a new association—the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC), which was established on October 10, 2000 (the treaty took effect on May 30, 2001). It was an international economic organization composed of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, and Tajikistan; the group was meant to build a common market. Member nations of the organization decided to form an integration structure targeting a closer cooperation on the basis of a harmonized regulatory base and coordinated processes of structural transformation of economy. It is worth noting an emphasis on economic vectors of cooperation— for instance, integration in the transport sector. Ahead of the first Economic Forum of EurAsEC (Moscow, February 2003), Kazakhstan’s president Nursultan Nazarbayev sent a letter to presidents of the Community’s member nations, which contained a concept of development prospects of the micro union. In Nazarbayev’s opinion, priority vectors of cooperation among the five nations were to be transit corridors and other transport projects, a closer collaboration in the energy industry, including joint ventures, and integration in the communication sector. On January 25, 2006, a protocol was signed on Uzbekistan’s accession to the organization; however, in October 2008 its participation in the work of EurAsEC bodies was suspended. EurAsEC was set up in full agreement with UN principles and rules of international law and had its own international legal identity. It was a clearly structured system with its own decisionmaking and decision implementation mechanism. The Community and its officials enjoyed immunity privileges, which were necessary to perform the functions and achieve the goals specified in the organization’s founding treaty and in the treaties in effect in the Community. In December 2003, EurAsEC was granted the observer status at the UN General Assembly. EurAsEC positioned itself as an open organization; any country that would be willing to assume commitments arising out of the founding treaty and other treaties of the Community according to a list defined by a resolution of the EurAsEC Interstate Council could be its member. Observer status at EurAsEC could be granted to a country or an international interstate organization at their request. In May 2002, Ukraine and Moldova received observer status at EurAsEC, and in January 2003 so did Armenia. The Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) and Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) also received observer status. The supreme body of the Eurasian Economic Community was the Interstate Council, composed of heads of states and governments of the Community. Its decisions were made on the basis of a consensus. The Integration Committee was the principal executive body; it was composed of


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

deputy heads of governments of EurAsEC member nations. The Integration Committee passed resolutions by a two-thirds majority of votes. The number of votes allocated to each country when voting on resolutions of the Integration Committee corresponded to each country’s contribution to the budget of the Eurasian Economic Community: the Russian Federation received 40 votes, Belarus and Kazakhstan each had 15, and Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan each had 7.5 votes. The body of parliamentary cooperation, the Interparliamentary Assembly, considered matters related to the harmonization of national legislations and making them compliant with the treaties concluded within the framework of EurAsEC. Controversies between members, and sometimes disregard of legal norms and resolutions passed by EurAsEC itself, hindered a deeper economic integration in the Community. As a result, an idea emerged to set up a customs union that would include only those nations that were most ready for that move: the Russian Federation, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. After the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union in 2014, EurAsEC was abolished. On August 16, 2006, at a meeting of heads of EurAsEC member nations in Sochi, a decision was made to set up a customs union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and the Russian Federation. In October 2007, those countries signed the Treaty on the Creation of a Common Customs Territory and on the Creation of the Customs Union. At the same time, a plan of action was approved to ensure free movement of goods in mutual trade, to encourage favorable conditions of trade with third countries, and to promote economic integration. On December 19, 2009, heads of the three countries—Dmitry Medvedev, Alexander Lukashenko, and Nursultan Nazarbayev—signed a joint statement on the establishment of the Customs Union, and, after that, on January 1, 2010, the single customs tariff took effect. Armenia joined the Customs Union in October 2014, and Kyrgyzstan did so in May 2015. On July 1, 2011, customs control was completely removed at internal borders and thus the formation of a single customs territory was completed, and the Customs Union started to be fully functional. It ensured the first “classical freedom” within the framework of the Customs Union—free movement of goods across the entire territory where a single mechanism of customs and foreign trade regulation (the one based on customs tariffs and the nontariff one) operates, and where a single legal environment exists in the area of technical regulation, and application of sanitary, veterinary, and phytosanitary measures, which ensures the use of common lists of regulated products; common requirements for those products; common proceThe Customs Union

Integration Processes


dure of their entry into the single customs territory and movement across it; and execution of permits according to unified formats recognized by all parties.4 During the first years of the Customs Union’s existence, good results were seen. For instance, mutual trade volumes spiked by more than 60 percent in terms of value between 2010 and 2014. Moreover, the product structure of mutual trade of the member nations became more diversified than in external trade with third countries. The Customs Union had two bodies making decisions that were binding on its member nations: the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council (the supreme supranational body of the Eurasian Economic Union [EAEU], composed of heads of EAEU member states) and the Eurasian Economic Commission (a standing regulatory body of the Eurasian Economic Union that is responsible for creating conditions for the functioning and development of the EAEU and for drafting proposals for further integration). The Supreme Eurasian Economic Council was the supreme body that also functioned as the interstate council of another organization, the Eurasian Economic Community. That structure can be accounted for by the fact that the Customs Union, which was set up in 1995 and subsequently grew into the EurAsEC, was the initial association. The Supreme Eurasian Economic Council was composed of representatives of member nations of the Customs Union and of a common economic space—heads of states and governments. At the level of heads of states, meetings of the Supreme Council were convened at least once a year, and at the level of heads of governments at least twice a year. The most important feature of the Supreme Council was that its resolutions required a consensus to be adopted. The Eurasian Economic Commission (EAEC) was the actual executive body of the Customs Union. It often has been called a supranational body, because the commission, within the limits of its authorities, passed resolutions that were binding on the parties. The commission was composed of the Commission Council and the Commission Collegium. Each member of the council and of the collegium had one vote. The Commission Collegium, to which the Supreme Council appointed three representatives from each party, conducted day-to-day organizational work. The Commission Council, which was composed of representatives of the parties (one representative from each party—deputy heads of governments, by virtue of their office), handled general matters and, among other things, was able to override decisions of the Commission Collegium. The Commission Collegium passed resolutions and issued recommendations by consensus or, in individual cases, by a qualified majority of two-thirds of votes, and the Commission Council voted by consensus. Until its abolition in 2012, the Customs Union Commission worked as a supranational body, as, legally speaking, its decisions with direct effect


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

were binding on the parties, and, in addition, in terms of the drafting procedure of those decisions, it functioned as an interstate body. All drafts of its resolutions were approved by the parties according to their respective domestic procedures. It predetermined their conformance to the national interests of the parties and the consensus nature of the decisionmaking procedure. For nearly three years of its work, the commission did not have to resort to a voting procedure by a qualified majority of votes.5 The concept of multispeed and multilevel integration, which was at the foundation of the Customs Union, pursued a goal of creating a space with clear-cut rules of the game and specific development prospects. After the transition to the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union and transformation of the Customs Union Commission into the Eurasian Economic Commission, EAEU member nations had those goals in mind looking forward. The Eurasian Economic Union, a relatively new institution, is the core of today’s economic integration processes in the CIS space. Its members are Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and the Russian Federation. On February 2, 2012, the Eurasian Economic Commission, a standing regulator of the Customs Union and common economic space, started to function. On May 29, 2012, heads of member states of the Customs Union met in Astana and approved an action plan of work on a draft treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union. Thus the EAEU is a new form of integration of three member nations of the common economic space, which were later joined by Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. On May 29, 2014, at a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, presidents of member nations of the Customs Union and common economic space signed the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union, which signified transition of the Eurasian economic project to a new and deeper level of integration. Vast opportunities opened up for the business community of those nations: emergence of new dynamic markets with uniform standards and requirements for goods, services, capital, and work force. On October 10, 2014, at a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, a treaty on the accession of Armenia to the EAEU was signed in Minsk. On December 23, 2014, Prerequisites for the establishment presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan, of the Eurasian Economic Union, and the Russian Federation, on one the treaty for which took effect on part, and the president of KyrgyzJanuary 1, 2015, had been emergstan, on the other, signed a treaty on ing for nearly two decades after the accession of Kyrgyzstan to the the collapse of the USSR. EAEU in Moscow. In May 2015, an The Eurasian Economic Union as a New Stage of Integration

Integration Processes


agreement was signed on the creation of a free trade zone between the EAEU and Vietnam. The EAEU ensures free movement of goods, services, capital, and work force; in addition, it helps pursue a coordinated, consensual, or common policy in various sectors of the economy. The EAEU’s official status is an international organization of regional economic integration, which has an international legal identity and was founded by the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union—the principal legal document of the EAEU. The document is laid out in 680 pages, of which the treaty takes up 100 pages, and the remainder is composed of annexes thereto (see Appendix 3). President Nursultan Nazarbayev has been a constant mastermind of the Eurasian economic integration; when the USSR was being dissolved, he proposed preserving the economic unity of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine. In his speech at Lomonosov Moscow State University on March 29, 1994, he put forward for the first time an idea of establishing a Eurasian Union State. It is based on a large-scale project of integration of new independent states on a pragmatic and mutually beneficial economic foundation; the project was designed by the Kazakhstan leader. The novelty was in the fact that, alongside further improvement of the Commonwealth of Independent States, an integration entity should be set up, with a purpose of carrying out coordinated economic policies and adopting joint strategic development programs.6 Russian president Vladimir Putin played a special role in the implementation of the integration concept. During the signing ceremony of the Treaty Establishing the EAEU, Vladimir Putin said: “Together, we are creating today a powerful and attractive economic development center, and a major regional market uniting over 170 million people. . . . Our geographic location makes it possible to create transportation and logistics routes of not only regional, but also of global significance, and to attract large-scale trade from Europe and Asia. All this is the basis for the competitiveness of our union and for its dynamic development in this rapidly changing and complicated world.”7 The EAEU accounts for one-fifth of the planet’s gas reserves and for nearly 15 percent of oil reserves. In the opinion of Nursultan Nazarbayev, “promising integration effect in the form of aggregate GDP [gross domestic product] growth of the three countries may reach nearly $900 billion by 2030.”8 EAEU countries are building their interaction on the basis of a high degree of integration. In terms of the depth of integration, it is the world’s second most deeply integrated association, after the EU. The logic of the EAEU’s development proposes two stages. At stage one, the group needs to build a common internal market; at stage two, backed by the internal market, it needs to promote member states’ competitive products and services in external markets. Building a common market of goods, investments, and


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

services in the region will allow the EAEU to increase the cumulative GDP of all its member nations by at least one-quarter by 2020–2022. The EAEU has a clearly structured institutional system; within its framework, the principal bodies are the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council (Supreme Council), the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council (Intergovernmental Council), the Eurasian Economic Commission (the Commission), and the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union (Union Court). Matters of principle in the Union’s activities, its strategy, vectors, and prospects of integration development are approved by the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, which is composed of heads of the group’s member nations. The Eurasian Intergovernmental Council, which is composed of heads of governments of the group’s member countries, carries out work according to ten powers and authorities, including overseeing implementation of the EAEU Treaty and approval of a draft budget. The Eurasian Economic Commission, based in Moscow, has started its full-scale work; it is a common supranational institution, the regulatory body of the Union, and the driving force of the integration. The Eurasian Economic Commission is the Union’s standing supranational regulator; it is composed of the Commission Council and the Commission Collegium. The commission’s principal objectives are to ensure an environment for the Union’s functioning and development, as well as drafting proposals in the area of economic integration within the framework of the Union. At the supranational level, the commission is vested with 140 powers and authorities. The Court of the Eurasian Economic Union is a specialized judicial body that considers disputes on matters related to the implementation of international treaties within the framework The decisions, resolutions, and recof the Union and decisions of its ommendations of the Council of bodies. For instance, decisions on the the Eurasian Economic CommisSingle Customs Tariff have a direct sion are made or passed by coneffect. The Union Court ensures sensus; those of the EAEC Colimplementation of the EAEU Treaty legium, by a qualified majority and other international treaties (two-thirds of the votes of its within the framework of the Union members) or by consensus (on sensitive matters, the list of which is by its member nations and bodies. defined by the Supreme Council). The court is composed of judges nominated by member nations (two judges from every member); the judges are appointed by the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council for a term of nine years. The court hears cases in the Court Grand Collegium, Court Collegium, and Court Appellate Chamber. The EAEU court is located in Minsk. Principal Bodies of the EAEU

Integration Processes


Financial mechanisms of Eurasian integration become operative through the Eurasian Development Bank and the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development (EFSD). The EDB is a regional development bank founded by the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan in 2006; it has asserted itself as an influential international financial institution. On a priority basis, it carries out projects that ensure expansion of mutual trade and cross-border investments. Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan are also full-fledged members of the bank. Other countries and international organizations may accede to the bank’s foundation agreement. The bank’s authorized capital equals $7 billion, including paid-up capital of $1.5 billion and on-demand capital of $5.5 billion. In its operations, the bank identifies priorities in every member nation, taking into account its respective needs in economy and development of its competitive edge, and also subject to the bank’s available resources. That approach allows the bank to formulate tasks of vital significance for every country and to ensure a toolbox that will help their implementation. The EFSD is a key mechanism of anticrisis regulation and financial stabilization in the region. The Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development, in the amount of $8.5 billion, was founded by governments of six countries: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, and Tajikistan. The principal goals of the EFSD are to help member nations overcome the fallout of the global financial crisis, to ensure longterm sustainability of their economies, and to promote integration processes in the region. Effective on January 1, 2015, a common service market started its operations in forty-three sectors identified by EAEU countries; within its framework, service providers are given the widest margin of freedom. In terms of its worth, the market accounts for nearly 50 percent of the total value of the services. For businesses, it means a serious reduction of consumed time, financial costs, and labor efforts. At its regular meeting in October 2015, the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council approved the Key Vectors of EAEU Economic Development through 2030. By 2030, EAEU members nations are expected to see 13 percent of extra GDP growth as an effect of their membership. One of the key goals of the EAEU, according to the Union Treaty, is “to create proper conditions for sustainable economic development of the Member States in order to improve the living standards of their population” (Article 4). One of the most important results of integration in that area was creation of a common labor market in 2015; it ensured free movement inside Economic Development Prospects of the EAEU


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

the EAEU, thus significantly boosting mobility of citizens of member nations. Citizens of the Union countries can be employed in any Union member nation without additional permits, both under employment contracts and under independent contractor contracts. On January 1, 2015, mutual recognition of diplomas in all specialties, except for pharmaceuticals, medicine, jurisprudence, and pedagogics, became effective. Social insurance and medical care are also provided on equal terms. As a result, mutual flows of labor force across member nations increased. In particular, 520,000 citizens of the Union’s countries went to Russia, the main employment destination, in 2015, and 730,000 in the first six months of 2016; about 16,000 and nearly 10,000, in those respective time periods, went to Kazakhstan.9 Improvement of business environment is one of the commission’s priorities. The EAEC has a successfully functioning system of institutions for cooperation with the business community. The commission has standing consultative committees composed of public officials, experts, and representatives of the business community of EAEU member nations. In total, the Commission Collegium has twenty functioning consultative committees, including those on entrepreneurship, trade, oil and gas, intellectual property, and financial markets. In 2012, an advisory board was set up for the interaction between the Eurasian Economic Commission and business dialog among Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia. It has evolved into a platform where the EAEC and representatives of business associations can network and discuss systemic and strategic issues of the EAEU’s functioning. In 2015, the idea of creating the Business Council composed of representatives of business associations of EAEU countries for more insightful work of the Advisory Board started to take shape. Creation of a common electric power market is scheduled for 2019; not only will it be beneficial from an economic standpoint, but also it will reinforce energy security of member nations. A program and legislative framework is being prepared to ensure transition to a common macroeconomic, currency, financial, and antimonopoly policy. The program for building a common financial market is to be completed between 2020 and 2023. Common oil, gas, and petroleum product markets are to be built between 2024 and 2025. At the May 2016 EAEU summit, held in Astana, heads of EAEU states approved concepts of building common hydrocarbon markets. As a result, energy companies of the Union countries will obtain nondiscriminatory access to the oil infrastructure of the partners, and will be able to purchase oil and petroleum products without any quantitative restrictions or export duties and for a market price. After a treaty to that effect is signed, a common energy market will have been built by 2025. Mutual investments are the most important elements of integration. Joint projects worth $24 billion are in the works, of which $17.7 billion (74

Integration Processes


percent) accounts for direct investments in industry, technology, and infrastructure. The principal areas for investments are the energy sector, metal industry, communications, and agrobusiness. Effectual promotion of the Union’s competitive strengths (size of territory and market, natural resources, transit potential, sociocultural factors) are likely to boost investments in potentially integrative projects. EAEU member nations carry out their foreign policies within the framework of that integration group in both bilateral and multilateral formats. Relations between Russia and Kazakhstan are an example of successful international interaction within the framework of the EAEU. Russian companies take part in the development of Kazakhstan’s major hydrocarbon fields. Twenty major joint investment projects have been completed, four more are nearing completion, and three more are in the pipeline. The bulk of Kazakhstan oil transit (about 20 million tons) goes to international markets through Russian territory via the Atyrau-Samara and MakhachkalaNovorossiysk oil pipelines and also via the Caspian pipeline. Many large-scale joint projects are implemented in the high-tech, industry, agriculture, and energy sectors. Kazakhstan’s investments in Russia amount to about $3 billion. Both countries have big plans for joint oil production in the Caspian Sea. The electric power systems of the two countries have been synchronized, and a program of creating a common electric power market is in the works. A project is in progress to expand and upgrade the GRES-2 Power Station in Ekibastuz, Kazakhstan. Preparations are under way for the construction of the first nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan; assembly lines and service centers of major Russian automotive manufacturers are being built. An AvtoVAZ factory in Ust-Kamenogorsk with an output of 120,000 cars a year will be the biggest one of them. Work is in progress to set up a joint venture to assemble versatile Ka-226T helicopters. A closer cooperation is taking shape in outer space exploration. The Baiterek space launch complex is being designed. A Kazakhstan cosmonaut made a space flight to the International Space Station as a crew member of the Soyuz TMA-16M spaceship.

Attempts have been made to establish closer economic contacts with other integration associations. Interest in developing cooperation with the EAEU has been shown by over forty nations. In 2015, a free trade agreement was signed between EAEU countries with Vietnam, providing for zero duties on nearly 90 percent of goods within the next decade, which would more than double the product turnover between the two parties by 2020 and would open up an opportunity of cooperation with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members. The agreement paved the way for a closer integration with other countries of the Asia Pacific region. The EAEU has plans to link China’s Silk Road Economic Belt program to EAEU projects. In May 2015, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping agreed to


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

work out the possibilities of linking the Eurasian Economic Union and projects of the Silk Road Economic Belt. Addressing the Federal Assembly on December 3, 2015, with his annual State of the Nation speech, Vladimir Putin proposed working out a large-scale economic partnership between the EAEU, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and ASEAN.10 Military-Political Integration Military-political integration in the post-Soviet space is carried out by creating collective security systems within the framework of such groups as the CIS and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and also through a system of bilateral and multilateral military cooperation programs. Common challenges and security threats, as well as limited capabilities of countries to ensure their own military security, drive uniting efforts. Building CIS Military Administration Bodies11

As far back as December 8, 1991, in the articles of the Belavezha Accord concerning military construction and defense issues, CIS founding members proclaimed their willingness to collaborate actively “in providing international peace and security, realization of effective measures for the reduction of armaments and military spending”—reiterating their desire to liquidate “all nuclear armaments, [to complete] general and full disarmament under strict international control” and attesting to their respect for the agreement partners in looking “toward reaching the status of a denuclearized zone and neutral state.”12 In addition, leaders of the Russian Federation, Belarus, and Ukraine declared that they would “preserve and support the common military-strategic space under the united command, including the united control of nuclear weapons,” and would “together guarantee the necessary conditions for arrangement, functioning, material and social welfare of the strategic armed forces.” Those provisions underpinned future multilateral treaties and agreements on military issues in the CIS. At that stage, joint military administration bodies of the CIS were set up. By a resolution of the Council of Heads of States of the CIS (those of Armenia, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan) dated February 14, 1992,13 the Council of Defense Ministers (CDM) and the High Command of the CIS Joint Armed Forces (CIS HC) were established. On January 22, 1993, Kyrgyzstan acceded to that resolution. On March 20, 1992, the Agreement on Joint Armed Forces for the Transition Period was signed.

Integration Processes


Despite their intention to keep the Joint Forces, CIS countries started to build and develop national armies, which caused a haphazard division of the USSR armed forces. As a result of that process, national armed forces of the CIS countries emerged, which were unequal and heterogeneous by their composition and availability of various resources. In May 1992, the process was completed, with Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine coming into possession of nuclear weapons. The bulk of the infrastructure of strategic forces and the nuclear complex, as well as most of the strategic nuclear delivery vehicles, were situated in Russia’s territory. At the moment of the USSR’s dissolution, there were 130 UR-100NU (SS-19) rocket launchers and 46 RT-23UTTH (SS-24) ballistic missile silo launchers in Ukraine. In addition, 19 Tu-160 bombers, 25 Tu-95MS bombers, and 2 Tu-95 bombers were also stationed in Ukraine; 81 Topol land-based mobile missile systems (SS-25) were deployed in Byelorussia; and 104 R-36MUTTH/R-36M2 (SS-18) ballistic missile silo launchers and 40 Tu-95MS bombers were located in Kazakhstan. Afterward, nuclear weapons were pulled off from Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine.

In September 1993, the High Command of the CIS Joint Forces was transformed into the Headquarters for the Coordination of Military Cooperation of CIS Member Nations (it slightly demoted the level of the military construction administration in the Commonwealth), and the Strategic Nuclear Forces Command was transferred to the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation. Afterward, within the framework of the CIS, other documents were signed, such as the Memorandum on the Principal Vectors of Integration Development of the CIS and the Prospective Plan of Integration Development of the CIS (both in 1994), the Concept of Collective Security (1995), the Agreement on the Establishment of Joint CIS Air Defense System (1995), and the Regulations on Collective Peacekeeping Forces in the CIS (1996). The Tashkent Treaty14

On May 15, 1992, leaders of Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan signed the Collective Security Treaty (CST) in Tashkent. Between 1993 and 1994, Belarus, Georgia, and Azerbaijan acceded to it as well; after that, it was ratified and entered into force. The CST includes eleven articles. Article 1 of the treaty says that the parties shall “abstain from use of force or threat by force in the interstate relations.”15 Member nations also


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

undertake to settle all disagreements among themselves and other states by peaceful means. It is important to note that member states may not enter military alliances or take part in any groups of states or in actions against another member state. This rule creates a firm stepping-stone for further military-political cooperation. The treaty, however, does not preclude participation of CST countries in wider collective security systems in Europe and Asia. Article 2 of the CST establishes a mechanism of joint consultations for the purpose of coordinating their positions, which is immediately launched in case of a threat to security, stability, territorial integrity, or sovereignty of one or more member states, or a threat to international peace and security of member nations. Article 3 speaks about the Council for Collective Security, composed of heads of member states. It is the only body mentioned in the CST. The council may set up its own bodies; it provides coordination and ensures joint activities of member nations in accordance with the treaty (Article 5). On the basis of that article, the Council for Collective Security adopted resolutions to set up the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, the Council of Defense Ministers, the Committee of Secretaries of Security Councils, and the Secretariat. The backbone of the CST is Article 4, according to which aggression against one party to the treaty shall be considered as aggression against all parties to the CST. In scholarly literature, Article 4 of the CST is regarded to be similar to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which also considers aggression against one party as aggression against the entire North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military bloc.16 In 1999, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Uzbekistan refused to renew the CST for the next five years. The process of alternative integration without Russia’s participation became stronger when Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova (GUAM) became the founders of the GUAM Consultative Forum in October 1997. In April 1999, at a meeting of presidents of GUAM member nations and Uzbekistan, the forum was transformed into GUUAM. In May 2005, Uzbekistan declared its exit from the organization, pointing to “a considerable change in the initially proclaimed goals and objectives of the organization” as a formal cause. On June 28, 2012, Uzbekistan sent a note, advising of suspending its membership in the CSTO. That decision became effective on December 19, 2012. Safeguarding Regional Security17

CIS countries pursue a coordinated policy in the area of international security, disarmament and weapons control, and construction of armed forces, and they keep up security across the Commonwealth, including the use of groups of military observers and collective peacekeeping forces.

Integration Processes


In January 1996, CIS countries adopted the Concept for Prevention and Settlement of Conflicts in the Territory of Commonwealth States. It defined common principles of CIS countries in handling issues related to prevention and settlement of conflicts, and resolution of arising disputes and disagreements. Activities of Commonwealth nations in that area help prevent or settle contentious issues and conflict situations, and promote rapprochement of viewpoints of parties to a conflict in order to find mutually acceptable arrangements. The nature of those activities and the selection of means depend on the scale and stage of conflicts. In January 1996, the Council of Heads of States approved the Regulations on Collective Peacekeeping Forces in the CIS. Those forces were perceived as a temporary coalition unit, which was to be put up for peacekeeping operations in order to promote settlement of conflicts in the territory of any of CIS member nation. Since internal borders of the CIS countries remained “transparent,” the focus was on the protection of the Commonwealth’s external borders. In 1992, an agreement on the protection of state borders and maritime economic areas of states, an agreement on cooperation of Commonwealth states in ensuring a stable situation at their external borders, an agreement on the status of CIS border security forces, and other documents that protect inviolability of borders were signed. In 1996, the Council of Heads of States adopted the Concept of Protecting CIS Borders with Non-Commonwealth Countries. The concept was designed to coordinate efforts of border security forces in the protection of border security. The document defines the foundations of border policy, the main areas of cooperation in border security, and the ways of implementing its provisions. A new stage in the existence of the Collective Security Treaty began after the Minsk session in May 2000, where a common political standing of leaders of CST parties, their willingness to expand military-political integration, commonality of approaches to security due to the evolution of the geopolitical context, and practical experience were revealed. Taking into account new cross-border risks and threats, counteraction against international terrorism and extremism emerged as priorities of international cooperation of the parties to the Collective Security Treaty. A decision was made in 2000 to start creating regional systems of collective security and relevant joint administrative bodies. It was proposed to build a system of collective security under the CST by combining multilateral and bilateral approaches. The structure of consultative bodies of the Council for Collective Security was worked out, which included the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Council of Defense Ministers, and secretaries of security councils. They were to coordinate actions, first of all those related to a fight against international terrorism. A number of treaties and other legal documents were adopted that were especially significant for practical development and functioning of the collective security system—


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

for instance, the Agreement on the Main Principles of Military-Technical Cooperation. Cooperation became especially active within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty in the fall of 2001, when almost all post-Soviet countries joined vigorously in the efforts against international terrorism. Commonwealth countries held intensive bilateral and multilateral consultations and agreed on additional joint measures in stepping up action against terrorism. They discussed enlargement of the Collective Rapid Deployment Forces of the Central Asian region. At an extraordinary meeting of the Committee of Secretaries of Security Councils of CST parties held on October 9, 2001, secretaries of security councils of Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan were also present, as well as the administration of the CIS Antiterrorism Center. Institutionalization of the CSTO and Creation of the SCO18

On May 14, 2002, at the Moscow summit of CST parties, a decision was made to transform the CST into a full-fledged organization—the Collective Security Treaty Organization—and on October 7, 2002, the Charter and the Agreement on the CSTO Legal Status were signed in Chisinau; they took effect on September 18, 2003. At the August 16, 2006, CSTO Sochi summit, Uzbekistan decided to become a full-fledged member of the organization. Protection of the territorial and economic space of member nations by joint efforts of armies and auxiliary units from any external aggressors, international terrorists, and natural disasters was declared to be the purpose of the CSTO. The CSTO was tasked with coordinating activities of the East-European Allied Forces (Russo-Belarusian), Caucasian Allied Forces (Russo-Armenian), and Allied Forces of the Central Asian Region.19 Amid growing military and political instability across the globe and in the regions that border on the CSTO’s area of responsibility, the importance of the organization’s military element is rising. Its foundation is composed of the CSTO Collective Forces (troops), which unite bilateral and multilateral regional and coalition task forces, established and emerging joint air defense, command and control systems, collective mechanisms of militarytechnical, and military-economic cooperation. Within the framework of that interaction in the CSTO format, a mechanism of fitting armed forces and other power structures of member nations with modern and compatible weapons, and military and special machinery, has been established and is being improved. Practical steps are undertaken to deploy production facilities in member nations to manufacture components for weaponry and military hardware once made abroad. Military universities provide training in a wide spectrum of specialties on a free basis or on preferential terms.20

Integration Processes


At the same time, in April 1996, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization was established as a group focused on development of both economic and military-political cooperation. Currently, its members are the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, India, and Pakistan. Afghanistan, Belarus, Mongolia, and Iran have observer status. Dialogue partners are Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey, and Sri Lanka. Bangladesh, Egypt, and Syria have applied for observer status within the organization. The SCO’s security targets are joint counteraction against terrorism, separatism, and extremism in all their manifestations; measures against drug and weapons trafficking; other kinds of cross-border crimes and illegal migration; and interaction in the prevention of international conflicts and their peaceful settlement. Since 2002, the Regional Antiterrorist Structure has been functional within the framework of the SCO. Joint antiterrorism exercises regularly take place. However, the SCO is not a military alliance. Deepening Integration Within the Framework of the CSTO21

On June 14, 2009, an agreement to create the Collective Rapid Reaction Forces of the CSTO was signed; they were to consist of ten battalions of national armed forces (with the Russian Federation and Tajikistan providing three each, and Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan providing two each). The forces were to protect territorial integrity and sovereignty of CSTO members and also to repulse military aggression, to conduct special antiterrorist and antiextremist operations, to counteract cross-border organized crime and drug trafficking, and the like. Large-scale exercises of the In peacetime, those units report CSTO Collective Rapid Reaction exclusively to the command of the Forces were held in October 2010 armed forces of their respective at the Chebarkul firing range in countries; only if needed do they the Chelyabinsk region (Russia). perform their allied obligations.22 In total, 1,700 military personnel Because of a special position of from Armenia, Kazakhstan, KyrBelarus, the documents signed by gyzstan, the Russian Federation, and Tajikistan took part in those Alexander Lukashenko were subexercises. mitted to the CSTO Secretariat on October 20, 2009. Between 2014 and 2016, integration within the framework of the CSTO continued. The Council for Collective Security of the CSTO passed a resolution on collective air forces of the CSTO (2014). In May 2015, a snap exercise was run across military contingents of all member nations of the CSTO Collective Rapid Reaction Forces; during the exercise, those units were moved to Tajikistan to perform combat training near the Tajik-Afghan


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

border. In 2016, a decision was made to create the CSTO Crisis Response Center and to approve the Collective Security Strategy of the Collective Security Treaty Organization through 2025, which serves as the basis for planning further development of the collective security system within the CSTO. The document embodies the guidelines for further development across all cooperation vectors. Military-Industrial Cooperation23

Revival of the scientific, scientific-technical, and industrial cooperation of military-industrial complexes of CIS countries is a mutually beneficial project that allows cutting production costs of military goods and using the full extent of the scale effect. Military-industrial cooperation is a necessary complement to military-political cooperation. For instance, Europe has the European Defense Agency, a body of common security and defense policy operating since 2004. In the CIS, according to a September 15, 2004, resolution of the Council of Heads of Governments of the CIS and a June 23, 2005, resolution of the Council for Collective Security of the CSTO, the Interstate Commission on Military-Economic Cooperation of CSTO countries was set up. The principal areas of cooperation within the framework of the CSTO are: • Building an optimal (in the CSTO format) system of joint ventures to design, produce, upgrade, repair, and recycle military products, with an all-around adjustment of their operating mechanism, including control within the organization and in entering the international arms market. • Creating a legal framework to ensure uniform principles and rules of interaction across all aspects of international economic cooperation. • Carrying out coordinated policy in the unification and standardization of pieces of armament and military equipment. • Transfer to long-term planning of military-economic and militarytechnical cooperation. • Building a common advertising and promotional environment in the area of military-economic cooperation within the framework of the CSTO.24

During regular meetings of the Interstate Commission on MilitaryEconomic Cooperation, matters of military-industrial cooperation, standardization of defense products, creation of an interstate system for cataloging procurement items of the armed forces of CSTO member nations, improvement of the supply mechanism of military goods, further integration of enterprises of ammunition sectors of the industry, and the like, are discussed.

Integration Processes


For instance, at the fourteenth meeting of the CSTO Interstate Commission on Military-Economic Cooperation in Dushanbe (May 2016), the attendees discussed the opportunities of using the high-precision signal of the Russian satellite communication system GLONASS by CSTO countries. Cooperation in the Cultural and Humanitarian Areas25 Over twenty-five years of the Commonwealth’s existence, it has become clear that humanitarian cooperation within the framework of the organization has been the bedrock of integration processes. Landmarks of the evolution of humanitarian integrational cooperation of CIS countries and successful projects in that field are discussed here. On May 8, 2005, on the eve of the sixtieth anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War, heads of CIS countries signed the Declaration on Humanitarian Cooperation of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States. The document emphasized that, “based on the ideas of multipolarity, peaceful and constructive dialog of civilizations, confirming mutual willingness of peoples, in a new historical environment, to respect the interests and independence of each other, and their willingness to promote and strengthen humanistic ideals,” the parties, going forward, would pay priority attention to matters of humanitarian cooperation,26 and declared the need to conclude an agreement on humanitarian cooperation. The agreement was adopted on August 26, 2005. The parties agreed, “for the purpose of creation of the most favorable conditions for mutual enrichment of national cultures,” to realize joint programs and projects in the field of cultural cooperation, to encourage experience-sharing between interested departments and organizations, and, in addition, to foster learning of languages of the peoples of other Commonwealth member nations and to promote creation and activities of national culture centers.27 Afterward, that framework agreement was enlarged with a number of agreements on specific areas of interaction, including an agreement on cooperation in work with youth; on healthcare and medical aid provided to citizens of CIS member nations; on physical culture and sports; on tourism, culture, book publishing, book distribution, and printing; and on building a single (common) educational space. At present, in the humanitarian sector, a system of eleven bodies of sector-specific cooperation is functioning: the Council for Humanitarian Cooperation; Council for Youth Affairs; Council for Cooperation in Healthcare; Council for Cooperation in the Area of Education; Council for The Institutional Foundation of Cooperation


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Cultural Cooperation; Council for Physical Culture and Sports; Council for Tourism; Interstate Council for Cooperation in Periodicals, Book Publishing, Book Distribution, and Printing; Advisory Board for Labor, Migration, and Social Protection of People; Council for Cooperation in Fundamental Science; and Advisory Board of Heads of Consulate Services of Ministries of Foreign Affairs of CIS Member Nations. The Department for Humanitarian Cooperation on General Political and Social Issues of the CIS Executive Committee performs the functions of the executive office of those councils and organizes the work of their secretariats. The department also backs up activities of twenty-seven base organizations of CIS member nations in various areas of cooperation (two in the area of performance standards, seventeen in the area of education, six in culture, and two in work with youth and development of entrepreneurship of young people). From 2010 to 2016, supreme bodies of the Commonwealth approved strategies of development of physical culture and sports; strengthening cooperation in tourism; improvement of the work in healthcare; programs of support to and development of national sports; joint actions in HIV/AIDS control; and prevention The year 2011 was declared the and treatment of diabetes; concepts year of historical and cultural herof cooperation in culture, public itage in the CIS, 2012 the year of healthcare, and control of oncologisports and healthy lifestyles, 2013 cal diseases; and a declaration on the year of ecological culture and the support of books. For a more environmental protection, 2014 effectual concentration of resources the year of tourism, 2015 the year in certain areas of humanitarian of veterans of the Great Patriotic War, 2016 the year of education, cooperation, CIS member nations 2017 the year of family, and 2018 decided to hold thematic humanitarthe year of culture. ian years. The International Foundation for Humanitarian Cooperation28

On May 25, 2006, heads of governments of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan approved a resolution on the establishment of an interstate nonprofit organization—the International Foundation for Humanitarian Cooperation (IFHC)—of CIS member nations. In 2008, Azerbaijan acceded to the agreement. The goal of the activities of the International Foundation for Humanitarian Cooperation is to “provide funding to measures (projects) in humanitarian cooperation, mutually agreed with the foundation’s Council.”29 The organization’s supreme body is its board, and the headquarters of the foundation’s Executive Directorate is located in Moscow. The IFHC was the organizer and coordinator of most humanitarian projects carried out within the framework of the Commonwealth. In total, over

Integration Processes


500 joint projects in culture, education, science, cultural heritage, information and media, sports, tourism, and work with youth have been implemented; they have involved about 300,000 people from all member nations of the CIS and also from Georgia and Baltic countries. Since December 2013, Anatoly Iksanov, former director of Bolshoi Theater, has been executive director of the IFHC. One priority area of the foundation’s work is cooperation with the UN on matters concerning education, science, and culture. For instance, on November 28, 2008, a memorandum of understanding between the IFHC and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was signed in Paris; within its framework, joint projects are implemented. In 2010, the foundation was awarded a UNESCO medal for contribution in development of nanoscience and nanotechnology.30 On May 15, 1992, heads of governments of Commonwealth member nations signed an agreement on cooperation in education. Within the framework of the agreement, a standing Conference of Education Ministers of CIS member nations was established. On January 17, 1997, a concept of building a single (common) educational space of the CIS was adopted, an agreement on cooperation in building a single (common) educational space of the Commonwealth was signed, and the Council on Cooperation in the Area of Education was set up. Cooperation in the Area of Education

In 1992 and 1993, two conferences of education ministers of CIS member nations were held, which passed resolutions on the development of educational standards, creation of mechanisms for the recognition and ascertainment of equivalence of education documents, and the like. From 1994 to 1996, no such conferences were held. Conferences of education ministers of CIS member nations resumed their activities in 1998. The most recent, nineteenth, conference of education ministers of CIS member nations took place in October 2012 in Yerevan. After that, interaction of CIS countries in the area of education continued in the format of the Council for Cooperation in the Area of Education, with its status upgraded. At present, the council consists of heads of public authority bodies in charge of education and bodies responsible for performance evaluation of senior academic and educational personnel of CIS countries. In April 2017, the thirtieth meeting of the Council for Cooperation in the Area of Education of CIS member nations was held in Moscow.

During its existence, the Council for Cooperation in the Area of Education has performed a big job preparing drafts of agreements on mutual recognition of higher professional education certificates, on advanced training of educators employed by general education institutions, on granting equal


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

rights to citizens for enrollment to higher education institutions, and the like. For instance, on April 16, 2004, an agreement was signed to provide citizens of CIS member nations with equal terms of access to general education institutions. In 2013, the Council of Heads of Governments of the CIS concluded an agreement on mutual recognition of higher professional education certificates. In 2014, the Council of Heads of States of the CIS declared 2016 a year of education, which allowed organizing a number of events and raising the public’s awareness of unsolved issues in the area of education of CIS countries. On November 28, 2014, the Interparliamentary Assembly of CIS member nations issued a resolution adopting a model law on cross-border education “establishing legal foundation for the development and implementation of common state policy of CIS member nations towards building a single (common) educational space of higher education across the CIS and designed to ensure harmonization of legislative acts of CIS member nations with respect to cross-border education.”31 Additionally, special emphasis is placed today on the program of development of remote training and education of adults. Regular professional meetings of educators in the Commonwealth space—congresses of teachers and educators of CIS member nations— encourage building a common educational space across the Commonwealth. In 2010, the first Congress of Teachers and Educators of CIS member nations was held in Astana. The fourth congress was held in Moscow in 2016 and thirty-eight educators were awarded a badge of honor for excellent education work in the CIS at a special ceremony, for the first time. The fifth congress took place in Bishkek in October 2018 uniting more than 450 representatives. Congresses play an important role in preservation of the common educational space of the CIS; they help work out vectors and mechanisms of integration, and find ways of mutually beneficial and equitable cooperation of national education systems. One important step toward building a common educational space of the CIS is the project of the CIS Network University (CIS NU). Its establishment was initiated in 2008 by Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN). The idea of creating an emulation of Erasmus Mundus, a European program of academic mobility, in the post-Soviet space was backed up by partner universities, governments of CIS member nations, and the IFHC. Today, the CIS NU operates in the territory of nine countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, and Ukraine), and unites twenty-eight major higher education institutions (see Appendix 4 and 5). The CIS Network University

Integration Processes


The CIS NU is a platform for a Erasmus Mundus + Mobility is uniform educational space, within the European Union’s program of the framework of which partner unistudent exchange, a collaboration versities implement joint master’s which is designed to increase programs and collaborate in training mobility of European students and of specialists across fourteen basic to improve the quality of higher education through international areas, including computer science, cooperation. The project includes international relations, management, joint master’s and PhD programs, mechatronics and robotics, oil and cooperation among universities, gas, tourism, philology, and ecoand enhanced attraction of Euronomics. The CIS NU operates as an pean higher education. open-end consortium (all its participants perform their activities on an equal footing). The consortium’s Coordination Council is entrusted with management and administration of the joint activities of its participants. The council includes heads of all participating institutions of the consortium or their appointees. Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia has been selected to be the central coordinating body of the Coordination Council. Professor Vladimir Filippov, Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Academician of the Russian Academy of Education and Rector of RUDN University, chairs the Coordination Council, organizes its activities, and presides over its meetings. In the 2012–2013 academic year, RUDN University, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), Novosibirsk State University, Bauman Moscow State Technical University, Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas, and Ural Federal University (named after the first president of Russia, Boris Yeltsin) enrolled 192 students from nine Commonwealth countries to study within the framework of the CIS Network University. Students are educated in national languages and in Russian under a joint educational program in each of the partner universities. The first master’s class graduated in 2012.32

No doubt, the CIS NU system faces inherent complications in the implementation of the tasks at hand. First, university rankings of some countries are generally higher than those of other countries. Therefore, a large part of CIS NU students opt for a program of exchange education with Russian universities. Second, regulations vary across different universities. For instance, since deadlines for enrollment to master’s programs vary across participating countries, there may be delays in the execution of documents for the students. Goals pursued by the CIS NU include training of highly qualified specialists who would be competitive


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

in the international labor market, and promotion of an intercultural dialogue in the CIS space. In the twenty-first century, informational space has become a fixture on the agenda in the international stage, often referred to as “new political space.” The legislative framework for the information-integrational cooperation within the framework of the Commonwealth is composed of a number of documents, such as the Agreement on Cooperation in the Area of Information, dated October 9, 1992; Regulations on the Procedure of Receipt and Use of Information of Commonwealth Member Nations, dated November 15, 1993; Agreement on International Legal Guarantees of Unimpeded and Independent Activities of the Interstate Television and Radio Company Mir, dated December 24, 1993; Resolution on Coordinated Policy in Building Single Information Space of the CIS, dated May 26, 1995; Resolution on the Concept of Building Information Space of the CIS, dated October 18, 1996; and Agreement on Free Access to and Procedure of Exchange of Publicly Available Scientific and Technical Information of CIS Member Nations, dated September 11, 1998. Also, in 1993, the Information Technology Coordination Council of CIS member nations was set up. The Concept of Building Common Information Space of the CIS was adopted by a resolution of the Council of Heads of Governments of Commonwealth Countries. The document defined “information space of the CIS” as a “totality of national information spaces of CIS member nations interacting on the basis of relevant interstate treaties in mutually agreed areas of activities.”33 The principal goal of building a common information space of the CIS is designated as “to ensure interaction of national information spaces on a mutually beneficial basis subject to national and common interests.”34 According to the concept, the main prerequisite for the achievement of the tasks at hand is pursuit of a coordinated information policy. The concept was proposed to become the driver for informationintegrational processes across the Commonwealth. One of the most successful completed projects is the creation of Mir, an interstate television and radio company, which recently turned twenty-five. Common Informational Space

Mir was set up in 1992 by an agreement of heads of CIS member countries to cover social, political, economic, and cultural life of Commonwealth countries. The Mir Group includes television channels Mir, Mir 24, and Mir HD; the radio station Mir; and the information and analytical web portal The headquarters of the company is located in Moscow, and it has national branches and representative offices in nine CIS and Baltic countries. The company broadcasts in twenty-three countries, including CIS and neighboring countries.

Integration Processes


A resolution of the Council of Heads of Governments of Commonwealth Countries dated May 25, 2007, on creation of a Council of Heads of StateOwned and Public Television and Radio Entities of CIS Member Nations, can be regarded as important; that new body, in turn, decided to set up an Interstate Information Pool on October 31, 2008. A dynamic nature of the council’s activities is manifested by the fact that the body holds regular meetings, often attended by leaders of Commonwealth nations. In September 2004, the Association of National Information Agencies (ANIA) of CIS member nations was set up; it unites information agencies of the following countries: Armenia (Armenpress), Azerbaijan (Azertac), Belarus (Belta), Kazakhstan (Kazinform), Kyrgyzstan (Kabar), Moldova (Moldpress), the Russian Federation (TASS), and Tajikistan (Khovar). ANIA helps bring exchange of materials to a new level and make it more effective, pulling in efforts of different agencies in prompt dissemination of objective information on life in CIS member nations. Scientific integrational cooperation is a sector that is the least prone to the influence of the domestic agenda of Commonwealth member states. Scientific progress is an international phenomenon. While every country naturally wants to be a pioneer in science (which is often impossible without cooperation and exchange of scientific knowledge) and wants to be proud of its scientists, the outcome of any scientific achievement is common heritage of humankind. The purpose of building a common scientific space of the CIS is “existence of sufficient conditions for a mutual study of scientific research experience accumulated in different countries, exchange of the outcome of those studies, joint research, cooperation in training of human resources, [and] personal contacts between scientists.”35 No doubt, a common scientific space of the CIS has a few peculiarities. And lack of funding is the main obstacle to its creation, like in many other areas. Today, within the framework of scientific-integration activities across the CIS, the International Association of Academic Sciences of Commonwealth сountries operates. The Interstate Space Council was set up to coordinate implementation of joint programs in space studies and use. The year 2009 was a successful period in scientific-integration cooperation within the framework of the CIS, as the Interstate Council for Cooperation in the Area of Science, Technology, and Innovation was set up, the Principal Vectors of Long-Term Cooperation of CIS Member Nations in Innovations were adopted, and the Interstate Program of Innovative Cooperation of CIS Member Nations through 2020 was developed. On May 19, 2011, an agreement on the establishment of the Council for Cooperation in Fundamental Science of Member Nations of the Cooperation in Science


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Commonwealth of Independent States was signed. The main purpose of the council was declared as “creating a favorable environment for the development, coordination and consistent expansion of cooperation in the area of fundamental science.”36 Today, the council is drafting a treaty on the establishment of an International Foundation for Scientific Research of CIS member nations. Furthermore, a system of joint use of unique facilities of the scientific and technological infrastructure of CIS countries is actively developed, for instance the International Innovation Nanotechnology Center in Dubna (Moscow region) and the high-altitude Pamir-Chacaltaya scientific research center in Tajikistan. In 1946–1947, the Pamir high-altitude scientific station of the Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences (FIAN) was built in the Murghob district of Tajikistan at an altitude of 3,860 meters. Since 1971, large-scale scientific experiments under the Pamir program had been conducted on the Ak-Arkhar site (Tajikistan) by employees of the Institute of Physics and Technology of the Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan and of FIAN of the USSR; those studies concerned nuclear interactions, including cosmic-ray physics. Japanese physicists who worked in a similar laboratory in Chacaltaya Mountain (Bolivia) displayed interest in those experiments. International cooperation between high-altitude stations across the globe (Brazil, Bolivia, the USSR, Poland, and Japan) was named the Pamir-Chacaltaya project. In August 2008, during a visit of Russian president Dmitry Medvedev to Tajikistan, an agreement on the foundation and activities of the PamirChacaltaya International Scientific Research Center was signed, according to which the infrastructure of the Ak-Arkhar scientific site was restored.

The International Innovation Nanotechnology Center of the CIS in Dubna organizes annual internships of young scientists and specialists from all countries of the Commonwealth. Over 160 people had the IFHC’s backing for the application of experimental methods in nanodiagnostics, and studies of new materials for nano-, bio-, information, and cognitive technology. On the back of internships, program participants present their own projects, the best of which are awarded grants for further implementation, filing for patents, and industrial applications. Science festivals of CIS countries, international Youth in Science forums, and conferences and meetings of the International Association of Institutes of History of CIS countries, Institutes of Philosophy of CIS countries, and Eurasian Association of Universities are held on a regular basis. On May 15, 1992, heads of governments of CIS member countries signed an agreement on cooperation in culture. The document covered multiple Cooperation in Culture

Integration Processes


areas of cultural activities, such as theater, music, arts, show business, circus, cinema, television and radio broadcasting, libraries and museums, conservation and rational use of monuments and other cultural and historical heritage sites, amateur and folk arts, and crafts.37 Within the framework of that agreement, the CIS Cultural Cooperation Council was set up on May 26, 1995. The Russian Scientific Research Institute of Cultural and Natural Heritage, named after Dmitry Likhachev (Heritage Institute), a state budget–funded scientific research institute, was selected as the base organization of CIS countries in the area of conservation of world heritage sites; an expert board was organized there. The Heritage Institute team comprises specialists of ex-Council for Unique Territories of the Soviet Cultural Foundation. To date, the institute’s activities are based on the principles cultivated by those professionals in their scientific expeditions and studies held under the auspices of Dmitry Likhachev; they highlight the fundamental role of heritage in conservation of cultural and natural diversity of the CIS and in its sustainable development. The institute’s employees have built a databank of organizations and specialists in culture across the Commonwealth and, in addition, have developed the concept of a program for advanced and professional training of public officials managing world heritage sites in CIS countries.

On December 4, 2004, a model law on culture was passed at a regular meeting of the Interparliamentary Assembly of Commonwealth Member Nations. The law “regulates relations in the area of preservation and development of culture and is aimed at providing and protecting the constitutional right of every citizen to take part in cultural life and to use institutions of culture, to have access to cultural values.”38 Moreover, Article 5 of the law notes “equal merit of cultures of all peoples and ethnic communities.”39 It is important that the law specifies rights of every person living within the CIS space to cultural activities, and duties of states in the area of culture. Once every five years, the Council of Heads of Governments of the CIS lists principal events of cooperation in the area of culture, which provide for a broad mutual participation in different international and national campaigns. On July 10 and 11, 2015, the Cultural Cooperation Council met in Yerevan for its thirtieth meeting, where a plan of events for 2016–2020 was approved. The Commonwealth’s Capitals of Culture interstate program is among key projects of the Commonwealth in the area of culture. Every year, a number of large-scale cultural events are held at the international and national level across the CIS. Special attention is paid to the


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

The Commonwealth’s Capitals of Culture project was initiated in 2010 by the Council for Humanitarian Cooperation of CIS member nations and by the IFHC. On December 5, 2012, the Council of Heads of Commonwealth States, meeting in Ashgabat, approved the regulations of the program. It is based on the European Capital of Culture project. The program proposes annual concentration of creative resources of Commonwealth countries in noncapital cities of CIS member nations, which receive the status of the Commonwealth’s Capital of Culture. First certificates of CIS Capitals of Culture were awarded to Gomel (Belarus) and Ulyanovsk (the Russian Federation) in 2011. In 2012, two other cities were declared CIS capitals of culture—Astana (Kazakhstan) and Mary (Turkmenistan). In 2013, the baton was passed to Gabala (Azerbaijan), Gyumri (Armenia), and Mogilev (Belarus). In 2014, Almaty Kazakhstan) and Osh (Kyrgyzstan) were Capitals of Culture. Voronezh (the Russian Federation) and Kulob (Tajikistan) were CIS Capitals of Culture in 2015. In 2016, Dasoguz (Turkmenistan) became a Capital of Culture. In 2017, the CIS Capital of Culture status was awarded to Ganja, the second biggest city in Azerbaijan. In 2018 the status of Capital of Culture came to Goris (Armenia), in 2019 it will be passed to Brest (Belarus), and to Shymkent (Kazakhstan) in 2020.

World Forum on Intercultural Dialog, Junior Delphic Games of CIS member nations, concerts of the CIS Youth Symphonic Orchestra, Kino Shock (an open cinema festival of CIS countries, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia), Listapad (a Minsk international cinema festival), and other international cinema festivals like Golden Apricot and Operalia. The Cultural Cooperation Council is also conscientious about organizing joint music events, such as the Belarusian Music Autumn International Festival, Mstislav Rostropovich International Festival, and Yury Bashmet International Festival. Furthermore, international theater festivals are also organized, such as Panorama, White Vezha, and Navruz, the latter an international festival of professional theaters.40 At the IFHC’s initiative, the CIS Youth Symphonic Orchestra was set up. The Youth Symphonic Orchestra is a group of young musicians from all Commonwealth countries. The orchestra performed with acclaim in capital cities of most CIS member nations, and also in Paris and New York, and had a successful tour in China. Aspiring musicians from CIS countries have an opportunity to study and perform together under the mentorship of the best orchestra conductors of today. In 2016, the orchestra’s concerts in Moscow and Minsk were devoted to the twenty-fifth anniversary of the CIS.

Youth theater forums and laboratories of theater directors, joint theater productions, master classes of art students, networking and mutual intern-

Integration Processes


ships of libraries and museums, and cinema and television festivals of CIS countries have also become regular occurrences. Since 2011, TEFICommonwealth, an international television festival, has been held every year with participation of major television companies of all CIS countries and also Georgia and Latvia. In 2016, twenty-eight television programs from ten countries were presented at the sixth TEFI-Commonwealth festival, in Armenia. The traditional Festival of Russian and Commonwealth Cinema in Tbilisi was held in the format of a cinema school for the first time and brought together famous cinema masters and young moviemakers from CIS countries and Georgia. Large-scale national art festivals and contests have acquired a wide international dimension and popularity thanks to participation of performers from across the Commonwealth. The Aram Khachaturian International Competition in Armenia, the Moscow Meets Friends international festival (a youth theater forum of Commonwealth countries), and the Martisor international music festival in Moldova have become regular events (to take part in the latter, about ninety performers from CIS countries arrived in 2016). The IFHC backed a fundamental academic work, CIS Literature Classics. Within the framework of that book series, twenty-six volumes of literary masterpieces and folklore of Commonwealth nations have been released in about 45,000 copies. An electronic dictionary of state languages of CIS countries and Georgia has been prepared. One noteworthy initiative of the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan is called Cupolas of the Commonwealth. The idea of the Cupolas of the Commonwealth project includes multiple subprojects, such as museums, libraries, and historical and cultural reserves. The idea is to coordinate cultural policies of CIS member nations in different areas, based on principles of integration and general access to information for all categories of users amid language and cultural diversity of CIS countries. For instance, within the framework of the libraries Cupolas of the Commonwealth project, the Russian State Library set up and supports Russian book centers at national libraries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

On May 25, 2007, the Agreement on Cooperation in Physical Culture and Sports of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States was signed, and the Council for Physical Culture and Sports was set up. The parties agreed “to promote cooperation of public authority bodies of the Parties, national Olympic committees, national sports federations (unions, associations), international, regional and other physical culture and Cooperation in Sports


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

sports organizations and associations, to support their initiatives aimed at effective development of physical culture, sports and the Olympic movement.”41 Every year, the council provides backing for multiple sport events—for instance, an international football tournament called the Commonwealth Cup (1993–2016). The year 2012 was the year of sports and healthy lifestyles in the CIS. For instance, on May 30, 2012, the Council of Heads of Governments approved the Strategy of Development of Physical Culture and Sports of the Commonwealth of Independent States through 2020, within the framework of which a draft of a new three-year plan of action for 2016–2018 was worked out. It includes over eighty events aimed at promotion of sports and healthy lifestyles, and development of sports focused on socially underprivileged groups. The plan also provides for the development of sport science and medicine, and innovation cooperation. Some events encourage national sports and establishment of an intercultural dialog. In 2014, the Physical Culture and Sports Council founded a festival of national sports of CIS member nations. This cultural and sports event aims to improve mutual awareness of national traditions, ways of life, culture, and philosophy of CIS peoples. The first festival took place in August 2017 in Ulyanovsk (the Russian Federation). The international Issyk-Kul Sport Games of CIS and SCO countries are gaining momentum and attracting an increasing number of participants. The eigthteenth Issyk-Kul Games took place in September 2018. Since 2013, CIS festivals of school sports have been taking place annually with participation of thousands of young athletes from all Commenwealth member countries. In 2016, the revived World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik Open Chess Cup was held among junior teams of Commonwealth countries in Moscow. The Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) has evolved into an important integration project in the area of sports in the Eurasian space. From 1992 to 1996, teams from Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine, and also Latvia, played within the framework of the International Hockey League. After the league was dissolved, the best clubs of CIS countries played in their national championships. In 2008, the Kontinental Hockey League was set up, which brought together hockey clubs from CIS countries (the Russian Federation, Belarus, and Kazakhstan), and also from the European Union (Latvia, Slovakia, and Finland) and China; every year, they compete for the Gagarin Cup. In the 2016–2017 season, the league had twenty-nine teams from twenty-seven cities; in the 2018–2019 season, the number decreased to twenty-five teams.

Integration Processes


One of the priorities in the Commonwealth’s activities is promotion of youth cooperation. There are permanent venues for the CIS-wide youth dialogue, of which the most popular are Slav Commonwealth, a camp of student activists; the Lomonosov scientific forum; the Dialog of Cultures and Friendship without Borders; the Youth Interparliamentary Forum of the CIS; and Days of Youth of the Commonwealth annual congress. Every year, at Issyk-Kul forums in Kyrgyzstan, young intellectuals discuss the subjects of the forthcoming CIS Humanitarian Year and joint youth initiatives. The IFHC regularly supports projects that create opportunities for joint activities of young people of Commonwealth countries. Within the framework of the international project Memory Watches, youth groups from Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, and Ukraine have worked together in former battlefields of the Great Patriotic War, reconstructing the names and burial sites of fallen soldiers. Archeological student youth groups and postgraduates from various CIS countries work together at unique historical and cultural sites. In 2016, young archeologists from Commonwealth countries took part in the excavation work in Sarazm, an ancient farming settlement in Tajikistan. A new area in youth cooperation is support provided to young people with disabilities. In 2016, Sher Nagyly, an international art festival of young people with disabilities, was held for the first time, in Baku. Youth Cooperation

1. The following section was contributed by Dana Kabidullaevna Akhmedyanova, Svetlana Alexandrovna Bokerya, Elmira Alpamysovna Ibraeva, and Elena Mikhailovna Savicheva. 2. The following section was contributed by Dana Kabidullaevna Akhmedyanova, Denis Andreevich Degterev, Elmira Alpamysovna Ibraeva, and Raikhan Sailaubekovna Zhanbulatova. 3. “Treaty on the Establishment of a Union State,” December 8, 1999, http:// 4. “Eurasian Economic Union: Questions and Answers. Figures and Facts,” Eurasian Economic Commission, 2014, _voprosy_otvety.pdf. 5. Ibid. 6. Ibid. 7. “Presidents of the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan and Belarus Signed an agreement on the Establishment of the EAEU,” TASS Russian News Agency, May 29, 2014, 8. A. Labykin, “900 Billion’s Effect,” Expert Online, May 29, 2014, http:// 9. The EEC Minister Timur Suleimenov: “For the citizens of our countries it is now more advantageous and safer to work in accordance with the law, without



Foreign Policies of the CIS States

using shadow semi-criminal schemes,” Eurasian Economic Commission, October 13, 2016, 10. “Vladimir Putin’s State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation,” December 3, 2015, -vystupil-za-sozdanie.html. 11. The following section was contributed by Konstantin Petrovich Kurylev. 12. “Agreement on the Establishment of the CIS,” April 11, 1994, http://www 13. “Resolution of the Council of Heads of States of the CIS on the Council of Defense Ministers of the CIS,” February 14, 1992, /reestr/ru/index.html#reestr/view/text?doc=38. 14. The following section was contributed by Konstantin Petrovich Kurylev. 15. “Collective Security Treaty,” May 15, 1992, /document/1900489. 16. Yu. A. Nikitina, “Contribution of the Collective Security Treaty Organization into Regional Cooperation in the Area of Security,” Analytical Proceedings of the Scientific Coordinating Council on International Studies of MGIMO (U) of Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, no. 3 (May 2009), p. 4. 17. The following section was contributed by Alexandra Viktorovna Khudaikulova. 18. The following section was contributed by Marina Anatolyevna Shpakovskaya. 19. V. M. Zakharov, “Russia’s Role in Military and Political Integration of the Post-Soviet Space,” Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, June 20, 2014, 20. N. N. Bordyuzha, “The CSTO and Today’s Unstable World,” Russian International Affairs Council, June 3, 2015, -comments/comments/odkb-i-sovremennyy-nestabilnyy-mir/. 21. The following section was contributed by Igor Petrovich Vasiliyk. 22. Zakharov, “Russia’s Role in Military and Political Integration.” 23. The following section was contributed by Denis Andreevich Degterev. 24. Interstate Commission on Military-Economic Cooperation of the CSTO, official portal of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, http://www.odkb 25. The following section was contributed by Tatyana Ivanovna Pon’ka and Nadezhda Grigoryevna Smolik. 26. “Declaration on Humanitarian Cooperation of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States,” May 8, 2005, /ru/index.html#reestr/view/text?doc=1744. 27. “Agreement on Humanitarian Cooperation of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States,” August 26, 2005, /index.html#reestr/view/text?doc=1812. 28. The following section was contributed by Baum Valentina Vladimirovna. 29. “Treaty on the Establishment of the International Foundation for Humanitarian Cooperation of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States,” May 25, 2006, ?doc=1977. 30. Humanitarian Cooperation of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States and Georgia: A Sociological Portrait (Moscow: Moscow University Publishers, 2012), p. 7.

Integration Processes


31. “Resolution of the Interparliamentary Assembly of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States on a Model Law ‘On Cross-Border Education,’” November 28, 2014, .id=2472. 32. S. Kovalenko and N. Smolik, “RUDN University Participation in the Activities of the CIS Network University,” Vestnik RUDN. International Relations no. 4 (2014), pp. 207–213. 33. “Concept of Building Common Information Space of the Commonwealth of Independent States,” October 18, 1996, 34. Ibid. 35. Yu. R. Osipov, “On the Common Scientific Space of the CIS,” Society and Economics no. 7 (2009), pp. 5–14. 36. “Information on the Council for Cooperation in Fundamental Sciences of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States,” http://www.e-cis .info/page.php?id=23207. 37. “Agreement on Cooperation in Culture,” May 15, 1992, http://www.e-cis .info/page.php?id=21901. 38. “Model Law ‘On Culture,’” December 4, 2004, http://www.cis.minsk .by/page.php?id=7842. 39. Ibid. 40. “On Activities of the Cultural Cooperation Council of CIS Member Nations,” 41. “Agreement on Cooperation in Physical Culture and Sports of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States,” May 25, 2007, http://www.e    Babadzanov, A. Ya. Military-Political Cooperation of Post-Soviet States: The Issue of Compatibility of National Approaches. Moscow: Aspect, 2014. Dashichev, V. I. Social-Economic and Political Processes in the Post-Soviet Space. Development Challenges of CIS Countries. Moscow: LKI, 2008. Khalevinskaya, E. D. Integration, Cooperation, and Development in the Post-Soviet Space: A Monograph. Moscow: Magister INFRA-M, 2015. Kosov, Yu. V., and A. V. Toropygin. The Commonwealth of Independent States: Institutions, Integration Processes, Conflicts, and Parliamentary Diplomacy. Moscow: Aspect, 2009. Lebedev, R. N. “The CIS: 20 Years—Priority to Economy.” Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn’ (International Life) no. 12 (2011), pp. 1–9. Mansurov, T. A. “Building a Common Economic Space Is a Powerful Integrational Breakthrough of the EurAsEC.” Eurasian Integration: Economics, Law, Politics no. 9 (2011), pp. 11–17. Osipov, Yu. R. “On the Common Scientific Space of the CIS.” Society and Economics no. 7 (2009), pp. 5–14. Tatarintsev, V. M. The Commonwealth of Independent States in the Early 21st Century: Challenges and Prospects. Moscow: East-West, 2007. Tikhonov, L. N. “The Role of Inter-University Contacts in Building a Common Educational Space of the Commonwealth.” Bulletin of the Interparliamentary Assembly no. 1 (2001), pp. 53–57. Vinokurov, E. Yu., and A. M. Libman. Eurasian Continental Integration. St. Petersburg: Center of Integration Studies, EDB, 2012.

Suggested Readings

2 Republic of Armenia

Foreign Policy Determinants1 August 23, 1990, the Supreme Soviet of Armenia adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty, and the results of the nationwide referendum held on September 21, 1991, ultimately formalized the sovereign status of Armenia. The most important political issue was to identify the main priorities and develop the foreign policy strategy of the republic. The officials responsible faced certain difficulties, for a variety of reasons. First, for seventy years Armenia had no experience or personnel necessary to carry out independent foreign policy. Second, after the devastating earthquake of 1988, Armenia found itself in a rather difficult social and economic situation, with the country’s financial resources mainly focused on domestic needs. Third, in the early 1990s, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict intensified. Challenges of the Initial Period

Armenia is located in the northern part of western Asia and the northwestern part of the Armenian Highlands. The country’s terrain is mostly mountainous, with over 75 percent of its territory lying at an altitude of 1,000–2,500 meters above sea level. Having an area of 29,743 square kilometers, Armenia borders on Georgia in the north, Azerbaijan in the northeast and Territorial and Geographic Status

The Spitak (Leninakan) earthquake, with an estimated magnitude of 7.0, occurred in the northwest of Armenia on December 7, 1988, destroying the city of Spitak, part of the city of Leninakan (now Gyumri), and other settlements, and wiping out 40 percent of the republic’s industrial potential. At least 25,000 people were killed; another 500,000 became homeless.



Foreign Policies of the CIS States

southwest, Iran in the south, and Turkey in the west, and shares a common border with the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in the southeast. The total length of Armenia’s state border is 1,570 kilometers. Delimitation and demarcation of borders with Turkey and Iran has been completed. Yet subject to demarcation are sizable areas on the border with Georgia. Delimitation and demarcation of borders with Azerbaijan is not possible until the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is fully settled. One of the Armenia’s foreign policy priorities is keeping up friendly relations with its neighbors. Due to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Turkey and Azerbaijan unilaterally closed their state borders with Armenia. Apart from the land borders, Azerbaijan also closed its air corridors to Armenia. To some extent, this situation predetermines the nature of Armenia’s relations with other neighbors. Armenia has friendly relations with Georgia and Iran, which are important in terms of both political and economic cooperation, and ensure the country’s stable foreign relations. According to the 2016 data, the population of Armenia is 3 million, 48 percent men and 52 percent women; 14 percent of the population are at the age of sixty and older. The proportion of urban residents is 63.6 percent of the total population (about 1.9 million), with 35.6 percent of the population (1.1 million) living in the capital. The most densely populated territories are the Ararat plain and the central and the northern parts of the republic. Armenia is a unitary country, with 98.5 percent of the population being Armenians. The largest ethnic minority (about 35,000) is the Yazidi community. The country is also home for Russians (12,000), Assyrians The Armenian Apostolic Church is one of the oldest Christian denom(2,800), Kurds (2,150), Ukrainians inations, with its peculiarities in (1,200), Greeks (900), Georgians dogmatics and rituals distinguish(600), Iranians (500), and other peoing it from Roman Catholicism and ples (1,500). Nearly 99 percent of Byzantine Orthodoxy. the country’s population profess Christianity, with 94 percent of them being followers of the Armenian Apostolic Church. A total of sixtysix religious communities are registered in Armenia. There are over 7 million Armenians living outside the republic, with influential communities in a number of countries (Russia, the United States, France, Georgia, etc.). Demographic Potential

Armenia is not among leading countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) by the size of mineral reserves. However, the country Natural Resources

Republic of Armenia


is still rich in extractable resources. By landmass, population, and reIt has reserves of iron and nonferserves of natural resources, Armerous metals, copper and molybdenia is usually ranked among small num in particular, with mines countries. located in Kajaran, Agarak, and Teghut. By the size of copper reserves in the CIS, Armenia is third after Kazakhstan and Russia. It holds one of the world’s leading positions by its reserves of molybdenum. Of the precious metals, the republic has gold and silver. Armenia also enjoys significant reserves of salt and natural stones, the latter being in great demand as a building material in a number of CIS countries. Armenia is also rich in drinking water, with the country’s water surface, including Lake Sevan, taking Lake Sevan, with a surface of 1,240 up about 4.7 percent of the total tersquare kilometers, is located in the ritory. There are 1,700 rivers and mountains at an altitude of 1,900 streams in Armenia, as well as large meters. It is the largest source of reserves of groundwater, providing drinking water in the region. 96 percent of the republic’s drinking water. In many cases, the right to produce natural resources was assigned to foreign companies, mainly those from Russia, China, the United States, and several European countries. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Armenia exhibited a sharp decline in production, continuing until the second half of the 1990s, when the social and economic situation settled to a degree, and as soon as the early 2000s the republic’s economy shifted toward stable and dynamic growth, estimated at 14.3 percent over 2002–2008. Due to the global economic crisis, the Armenian economy showed a decline of 14.1 percent in 2009. The main blow was on the construction sector, which tumbled 10 percent. It took two years for the national economy to recover, showing an average economic growth of 4.5 percent thereafter. In 2014, Armenia’s gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to $11.6 billion, or $3,870 per capita. Of the total, 44.8 percent of GDP is covered by trade and services, 18.5 percent by agriculture, 16.2 percent by industry and energy, 11.3 percent by taxes from domestic goods, and 9.2 percent by construction. The country enjoys well-developed electricity generation (7.5–8 billion kilowatts per year), including the Metsamor nuclear power plant, several dozen thermal power plants, and over a hundred large and small hydroelectric power plants. Economic Potential


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

The Metsamor nuclear power plant (also known as the Armenian nuclear power plant) was built in Soviet times near the city of Metsamor. The first power unit was put in operation in 1976, and the second one in 1980. After the Spitak earthquake of 1988, the plant was suspended until its recommission in 1995. The plant accounts for 29 percent of all electricity produced in Armenia.

Operation of the country’s electric power industry largely depends on foreign investments, predominantly coming from Russia, Iran, and the United States. Armenia exports electricity by power transmission lines, which currently include the Armenia-Georgia and Armenia-Iran channels. At the same time, Armenia’s economy largely depends on foreign energy supplies. Since it has no fuel or energy resources of its own, the republic has to import them to cater for its existing domestic needs. The Russia-Armenia gas pipeline system delivers more than 90 percent of natural gas consumed in Armenia. Gazprom distributes imported natural gas through the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline. Other fuel resources are imported from Russia, Iraq, Iran, and countries of Central Asia. Before the global economic crisis of 2009, there were 4,000 companies with foreign or mixed capital registered in Armenia, but most of them wound up their business over the next few years. Since 2010, foreign investments in the country have decreased by 25 percent. The leading investors in Armenia’s economy are Russia, the European Union member states, and the United States. In 2008, the Armenian government adopted an information technology (IT) development strategy, declaring the IT sector one of the priority spheres of national economy. In 2014, Armenia registered 25.2 percent growth in this sector. Around 400 companies are working in the IT industry, some of them cooperating with major world companies. Armenia’s travel industry is another sector of economy showing rather dynamic growth. Each year over the period from 2012 to 2016, Armenia received almost a million tourists. The armed forces of Armenia were established in early 1992 with the goal of ensuring the territorial integrity and security of the country. The country’s army consists of specialized forces, including land, air, and air defense troops, totaling 52,000 personnel, with active reserve strength of over 200,000. According to the law, military service in Armenia is compulsory. Turning eighteen years of age, men are recruited into the army for a term of twenty-four months. To boost combat readiness, the army is gradually increasing the number of military volunteers becoming active duty officers. Over the Military Potential

Republic of Armenia


In terms of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) of 1990, the Agreement on the Principles and Procedures for the Implementation of the CFE Treaty (the Tashkent Agreement of May 15, 1992, on the distribution of rights and obligations of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics [USSR] under the CFE Treaty), the quota of each of the Transcaucasian republics (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia) amounted to 220 tanks, 220 armored vehicles, 285 artillery units, 100 combat aircraft, and 50 combat strike helicopters.

past few years, the country’s annual military budget has been more than $400 million. A significant part of Armenia’s military equipment is Soviet- or Russianmade. The air defense system of the republic is equipped with long-, medium- and short-range air-defense missile systems (SA-21 Growler, SA10 Grumble, SA-3 Goa, SA-4 Ganef, and SA-6 Gainful). Armenia also has a sufficient strength of air and ground forces. The republic is consistently developing a military industry of its own. A certain achievement in this area is the Krunk unmanned aerial vehicle, in series production since 2011. Armenia also manufactures light weapons and combat vehicles. Armenia cooperates with the CIS, as well as with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), in political, military, and military-technical spheres. According to the bilateral agreement between Armenia and Russia (1995), the 102nd Russian Military Base, part of the Armed Forces of the Southern Military District of the Russian Federation, has been stationed in Gyumri. The main function of the base is to protect Armenia’s state border with Turkey and Iran. In 2010, the parties signed an agreement extending the term until 2044. The air corps of the 102nd Military Base, part of Russia’s Air Base 3624, is deployed at Erebuni Airport of Yerevan. The air base hosts Fulcrum fighter jets, and there are plans to increase their number in the future. There are also plans to reinforce the base with gunships and cargo helicopters. The air base also hosts helicopters of Armenia’s air force. The military equipment of the air base is on combat duty in terms of the CIS air defense system.

There are three lines of cooperation with NATO: security, defense and security reformation, and emergency planning. Armenia cooperates with such NATO member states as the United States, Greece, Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, and Poland. A certain number of officers receive training in military educational institutions of these countries. Armenia regularly participates in international peacekeeping missions. The Armenian armed forces take part in military exercises, such as


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

those carried out by NATO members or arranged by other countries, as well as in the exercises of rapid reaction forces in terms of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The Armenian armed forces participate in the peacekeeping missions in Kosovo (since 2004) and Afghanistan (since 2010), and in the UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon (since 2014), and participated in the UN peacekeeping mission in Iraq (2005–2008).

Conceptual Framework and Mechanisms of Foreign Policy2 The establishment of the so-called direct horizontal relations between the republics of the USSR could be considered as the first foreign policy step taken by Armenia. Accordingly, on July 27, 1991, Levon Ter-Petrosyan, chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Armenia, and his Georgian counterpart, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, signed the Treaty on the Main Principles of Interstate Relations Between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Georgia. The parties recognized each other’s political sovereignty, and announced the exchange of diplomatic missions and the intention to deepen cooperation in the economic, scientific, and cultural spheres. It was this document that became a kind of prototype for similar framework treaties between Armenia and other republics of the USSR, providing for a higher political status of the parties. The treaty was preceded by a document establishing diplomatic relations between Armenia and Georgia at the embassy level, signed July 17, 1991, by the ministers of foreign affairs of both countries. Before that, one of the first attempts to establish horizontal relations in the sphere of economic cooperation was the treaty signed in Minsk on August 31, 1990, between Armenia and Belarus in terms of economic, technical, and cultural cooperation. The intergovernmental treaty signed in September of the same year between Armenia and Russia contained a statement that economic and cultural cooperation would be carried out between two sovereign parties. First Foreign Policy Contacts

The foreign policy process of Armenia could be divided into several logical stages, related to the decisionmaking specifics. In the early 1990s, the list of key priorities for the country’s sustainable development included the need for social and political consolidation around a new political elite, the transition to a new governance model, and the Transformation of the Foreign Policy Mechanism

Republic of Armenia


establishment of a new type of relations with the CIS countries. The parliament became the main platform to define the issues related to the foreign policy agenda. The most important institutional transformation in the foreign policy sphere, formalized in the 1995 constitution, was the transition to the presidential form of governance, including the definition of priorities and the implementation of foreign policy strategy at the presidential level. The relatively rapid centralization of the supreme political power significantly contributed to a formation of a common foreign policy course, but it also revealed the shortcomings of the foreign policy mechanism, stemming from the actual lack of experience and the necessary resource base. When the constitution of Armenia came into effect, the National Assembly’s institutional influence on the country’s foreign and defense policy significantly decreased. Although the parliamentary Commission on Defense, Internal Affairs, and National Security is in fact entitled to consider laws related to the military sphere and to hold a necessary expertise, the parliament is not granted the authority to automatically adopt or reject the bill in question. The next stage of the foreign policy process (started in the late 1990s) was primarily focused on the expanThe National Assembly of Armesion of the resource base and the nia includes two permanent dedinecessity to strengthen the mechacated commissions directly dealnisms of its implementation. Thus, ing with the foreign policy agenda. foreign policy’s economic compoThey are the Permanent Commisnent became an obvious priority. At sion on Foreign Relations and the the same time, cooperation with the Permanent Commission on the Armenian diaspora intensified sigIssues of European Integration. nificantly and received a better organizational framework. Since the early 2000s, the content, methods, instruments, and political criteria of assessing foreign policy efficiency went through a certain evolution. This was directly related to the activity of the two presidential administrations of Robert Kocharyan, the second president of Armenia (1998–2003, 2003–2008), and Vardan Oskanyan, the minister of foreign affairs (1998–2008). In general, the same course was continued during the term of President Serzh Sargsyan (2008–2018) and Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandyan. In the beginning of the twenty-first century, Armenia’s foreign policy also underwent some visible transformations due to a number of factors, both domestic and international. Since the late 1990s and the early 2000s, Armenia experienced a steady economic growth and an inflow of foreign direct investment, contributing to changes both in the official foreign


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

policy rhetoric and in the state’s priorities. Now the republic’s main priority is the development and modernization of the state, rather than receiving assistance, as was the case in the crisis-ridden 1990s. From the viewpoint of foreign policy strategy, the state’s motives and goals have become more pragmatic. Foreign policy goals have received an obvious focus on economy, with clear articulation of national interests in the international arena. The former theoretical arithmetic layouts in regional geopolitics (developed by European analytical centers—for instance, the 3 + 3 + 1 formula of regional cooperation, implying the participation of the three countries of Transcaucasia, three neighboring countries, and the European Union [EU]) gradually shifted toward more substantive relations with both regional and global actors. Along with the economic growth and the midterm macroeconomic stability achieved, the people showed an emerging trend to trust the government, contributing to the society’s consolidation around common goals. A noteworthy characteristic of Armenia’s foreign policy strategy in the 2000s was the concentration of political and material resources on specific tasks. The list included the strategic task of obtaining international recognition of the 1915 genocide of Armenians committed by Ottoman Turks. The process of foreign policy formation also had its own specifics. The expert community’s influence on foreign policy decisionmaking was indirect, maintaining an advisory capacity. At the same time, analysts and experts from the diaspora dealing with regional issues had a certain impact on the decisionmaking process. Meanwhile, the key conceptual documents received a wider expert discussion. Thus, the national security strategy of Armenia (adopted in 2007), as well as the military doctrine of Armenia (adopted in 2007), were discussed at one of the academic councils of Yerevan State University. Possible options for taking part in the integration projects of the European Union (the free trade zone) and the Eurasian Union also enjoyed a significant public and political reaction, before Armenia ultimately decided to join the latter in September 2013. Personalization of Foreign Policy and the Role of the President

After the first presidential election in the history of independent Armenia in September 1991 and the victory of Levon Ter-Petrosyan, the leader of the Armenian National Movement (ANM), the right to make the most important political and strategic decisions passed to the presidential administration. The initial stage of foreign policy formation in Armenia involved certain personalization of both the decisionmaking process and the functional

Republic of Armenia


directions of the foreign policy course, supervised by individual highranked officials. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the personification of politics as a whole was rather typical of the Caucasus region, compensating for the immaturity of formal structures. During that period, the key positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia were taken by members of the Armenian diaspora, coming from abroad. On the one hand, the specific personally competent foreign policy figures did compensate in some way for the insufficient development of the bureaucratic and organizational offices, as well as the scarcity of professionals inside the country at that time. But on the other hand, they also had to ensure that their decisions were efficient and accountable. In the early 1990s, strategic political relations with Russia were supervised at the presidential level. Prime Minister Hrant Bagratyan was responsible for economic relations, working directly with his Russian counterpart, Viktor Chernomyrdin, and the deputy prime minister, Oleg Soskovets. While Foreign Minister Vahan Papazyan (1993–1996) was responsible mainly for coordinating relations with the Western countries and international structures, Vice President Gagik Harutyunyan was responsible for the Iranian direction.3

Since the adoption of the 1995 constitution, the president has become the most important person, determining foreign policy priorities and shaping national interests in the international arena. According to the constitution (Article 55, paragraph 7), the president represents Armenia in international relations and exercises overall leadership of foreign policy. The full set of fundamental foreign policy decisions is taken at the level of the president and the presidential administration. The most vivid example is the decision of President Serzh Sargsyan on Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union (September 3, 2013) after a long period of preparatory work before signing the association agreement and the free trade zone agreement with the EU, while carrying out parallel consultations on the cooperation formats with the Eurasian Customs Union. The Declaration of State Sovereignty of Armenia (paragraph 6), adopted on August 23, 1990, by the Supreme Soviet of Armenia, states that Armenia, “as a subject of international law, carries out an independent foreign policy, establishes direct relations with other states, national and state formations of the USSR, and participates in the activities of international organizations.” The declaration also states that Armenia “stands for international Doctrinal Framework of Foreign Policy


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

recognition of the 1915 Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey and Western Armenia” (paragraph 11).4 The main foreign policy principles in the international security dimension are set forth in the national security strategy of Armenia, approved by the National Security Council, under the president, in January 2007. The conceptual framework and priorities in the field of regional and international security, the main directions of international, multilateral, and bilateral military-political and military-technical cooperation, are reflected in the 2007 military doctrine of Armenia. In the context of regional security, among the factors contributing to the region’s stability, Armenia emphasizes the activities of the United Nations [UN], the CSTO, NATO, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), as well as other international organizations and states. The priority areas of military and military-technical cooperation include strategic cooperation with the Russian Federation, in particular the creation of joint permanent forces (the United Forces), as well as Armenia’s active participation in the CSTO and its programs: the development of the collective region-based security system, and the improvement of the air defense system, military infrastructure, and personnel training. The doctrine characterizes bilateral cooperation with the United States as an important component of defense reforms, creation of mutually compatible units, and Armenia’s participation in international peacekeeping operations. In terms of institutional cooperation with NATO, the military doctrine of Armenia singles out the Individual Partnership Action Plan and the Planning and Review Process. In 2009, Armenia contemplated the option of preparing a foreign policy concept, but eventually it was abandoned. Foreign policy priorities of a more applicable character were later defined with account of strategic realities in the regional power balance, while also considering the tactical aspects of the global geopolitical environment. The complementary approach, an instrument shaping the foreign policy discourse and the basic parameters of Yerevan’s interaction in the international arena, has become a characteristic feature of Armenia’s foreign policy. Complementary Approach

The term complementarism, when applied to Armenia’s foreign policy, was coined by Vartan Oskanyan, minister of foreign affairs of the republic from 1998 to 2008. Complementarism is somewhat similar to multifaceted policy.

Complementarity is stipulated in the national security strategy, which says: “Currently contributing to Armenia’s complementary foreign policy

Republic of Armenia


are the consolidation of the international community in the war on terror, the issues of the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the positive dialogue being established among the great powers in countering the existing threats to international stability.”5 Conceptually speaking, complementary foreign policy is based on the logic of balanced and multifaceted relations with the world’s leading power centers. In particular, apart from being aimed at maintaining strategic equilibrium or the usual siding with regional or global structures, complementary policy is also about securing two objectives. First it means positive cooperation with a win-win result for all the parties involved (instead of making use of controversies, playing a zero-sum game), and second it means maintaining a regional balance of forces favorable for the country’s national interests. The political logic of this approach can be applied to individual sectors of international cooperation, including military-political and economic cooperation, the humanitarian sphere, and joint efforts in ecology. Along with effective flexibility, one of the important value orientations of the complementary approach is foreign policy’s predictability in the medium and long terms. Armenia’s most important policy principle in the international arena has been the strong rejection of a single-option foreign policy orientation—that is, concentration on either the region-wise or the countrywise direction with an indifferent attitude to the rest of the world. In June 2008, Tigran Torosyan, the Speaker of the republic’s National Assembly, stressed that although there was no need to revise the direction of Armenia’s foreign policy, it was becoming all the more necessary to intensify cooperation with other power centers, and international and regional organizations. “These relations are not interchangeable, and we need to work on both directions. . . . The entire foreign policy of Armenia, including cooperation with NATO, fits into this framework of our country’s foreign policy strategy.”6 Complementarity is enhanced with the degree of involvement. According to the national security strategy: “Involvement implies participation in the processes taking place in the international arena consistent with the goals proclaimed by Armenia. Strategic relations with Russia, the choice towards the European way of development, the mutually beneficial cooperation with the USA and Iran, membership to the CIS and the CSTO, and the development of cooperation with NATO expand the potential of carrying out a complementary policy.” That said, Armenia enforces security in three main areas: international, regional, and pan-Armenian. Multilateral diplomacy and an active policy of involvement and participation in international institutions and organizations is an important component of the international interests of a landlocked country relatively distant from the main global decisionmaking centers. In this context, it is


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

also important to observe a special policy toward transit countries, including possible concessions and a comprehensive effort to maintain goodneighborly relations with such.7 The main macro region for the concentration of Armenia’s long-term political, economic, humanitarian, and cultural interests is Europe and the CIS. However, support of strategically important ties with the United States is also of importance. Since Armenians are a network-centric nation with a relatively large and consolidated diaspora in different regions of the world, Armenia’s foreign policy takes account of the mutual goals of the diaspora and the country in a number of spheres concerning both the state interests of Armenia and issues related to the protection of the interests of Armenians abroad.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a major foreign policy office. The organizational structure of the ministry, in addition to the internal departments responsible for the activities of the ministry (the ministry’s executive office, financial and legal departments, the media communications and human resources departments), includes the main dedicated units working in the relevant areas of the republic’s foreign policy involving different regions of the world. Among them, one can single out the Department for CIS Affairs, including the CSTO units; the Russia unit; the Central Asia unit; the Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus unit; as well as the unit dealing with regional structures in the CIS area. One of the ministry’s major departments, the Department for Europe, is responsible for coordinating relations, and developing and ensuring priorities in dealing with continental countries and structures, in two formats: direct bilateral relations with individual European countries (the first and the second units), as well as units working with the European Council and the European Union. The US direction is supervised by a separate department, consisting of two units: the United States and Canada unit, and the unit for Central and South America. The Department for the Middle East also includes two units: the unit for the countries of the Arabian Peninsula and the Arab countries of the Middle East, and the unit for North Africa and Israel. Another department of the ministry is responsible for relations with the countries of Asia, the Pacific region (Oceania), and Africa. Proceeding from the specifics of the republic’s geographic location, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs includes the Department for Neighboring Countries, whose separate units deal with issues related to Iran, Georgia, Turkey, and Azerbaijan. The department’s structure also incorporates a border delimitation team. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Republic of Armenia


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia also includes the Department for Bilateral and Multilateral Economic Cooperation, the Department for International Organizations (incorporating the UN, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization [UNESCO], and the units on human rights and humanitarian affairs), and the Department for Culture and Humanitarian Cooperation. The unit on military-political cooperation of the Department for Armaments Control and International Security coordinates procedures of interdepartmental coordination of projects and documents between Armenia and other countries in the military, military-technical, and defense spheres. One of the main activities of this department is dealing with issues related to the participation of Armenia’s peacekeepers in various peacekeeping operations under the aegis of the UN. The department has another three dedicated units: on NATO, on global security and nonconventional issues, and on control of conventional weapons Preparation of diplomatic staff for and the OSCE. the Ministry of Foreign Affairs The ministry’s Department for began in 1993–1994, when Yerethe Diaspora mainly deals with the van State University founded the coordination of pan-Armenian proDepartment of International Relagrams and preparation of recomtions, which became the basis for mendations for diplomatic missions opening the Faculty of Internain organizing joint events with the tional Relations in 1998. In 2009, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs relevant diaspora associations. opened School.




Foreign Policy Priorities Settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict8

For Armenia, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is of considerable political importance both domestically and internationally. Since the late 1980s, the political identity and the political system of the republic were largely influenced by the development of the Nagorno-Karabakh situation. Throughout the 1990s, Armenia’s political affiliation with the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) was growing institutionally, crystallizing in a number of framework agreements in various spheres, ranging from those financial and budgetary to cooperation in terms of security. The Nagorno-Karabakh issue is also important on the international level, remaining a key issue on Armenia’s foreign policy agenda, since it directly concerns Azerbaijan, a party to the conflict, and the international community, represented by the OSCE Minsk Group, negotiating reconciliation. Armenia does not maintain diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan, confining itself to the negotiation process on the settlement of the NagornoKarabakh conflict. Because of this conflict, in 1991 Azerbaijan suspended


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

oil transportation to Armenia, blocked Russia’s gas pipeline to the republic, banned the movement of transit cargo to Armenia, and closed down the common land and air border. Moreover, the Nagorno-Karabakh issue also affects Armenia’s bilateral relations with Turkey, which closed down the border with Armenia in 1993 as a gesture of solidarity with Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic proclaimed its independence on September 2, 1991, following the resolution of the Supreme Soviet of the NKR. On December 10, 1991, a referendum was held, the majority of participants voting for independence and secession from Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict evolved into a large-scale military confrontation in 1992. The armed conflict lasted until May 1994, when the parties to the conflict signed an indefinite truce. The population of the NKR is about 150,000. The republic’s largest city and the administrative center is Stepanakert.

In May 1992, there was an immediate threat of Turkey getting directly involved in the escalating conflict, as it began concentrating its forces and maneuvering its troops near the Armenian-Turkish border. However, the warning of Yevgeny Shaposhnikov (commander-in-chief of the CIS Joint Armed Forces) of the potential unleashing of World War III in case of a Turkish invasion, along with the critical position of the US Department of State regarding Ankara’s military buildup, had its effect in restraining and deterring Turkey from any kind of on-ground involvement in the conflict militarily. In May 1994, with the direct mediation of Pavel Grachev, minister of defense of Russia, and Vladimir Kazimirov, plenipotentiary of the president of Russia for the Nagorno-Karbakh conflict settlement, the parties to the conflict signed the ceasefire Bishkek Protocol, and the NKR self-defense forces suspended their advancement to the north. In 1992, the OSCE Minsk Group was founded to mediate in the conflict settlement, now working in the three-chair format, including Russia, the United States, and France. Currently, the negotiation process is based on the Madrid Principles, proposed by the Minsk Group cochairs in November 2007. These principles touch upon a number of issues related to determining the status of the NKR, solving the refugee problem, unblocking communication lines, establishing contacts, and the like.

In the 1990s, the main political disagreements concerned the methodology necessary to resolve the conflict. The solutions proposed included either a package option (beneficial for Armenia, since the option provided

Republic of Armenia


for the status issue to be resolved immediately, instead of suspending it), or a step-by-step one (beneficial for Azerbaijan, as it stipulated for the NKR status to be resolved at a later stage, while the territory-related issues were to be handled earlier). For over two decades, Yerevan’s position on the official recognition of the NKR has been the following: Armenia refrains from recognizing the NKR de jure before the close of the conflict settlement negotiations, where the issue of the NKR status remains to be the matter of principle. Since the conclusion of a trilateral ceasefire agreement in May 1994 by Azerbaijan, the NKR, and Armenia, the ceasefire regime is maintained without the participation of third parties—that is, without carrying out a peacekeeping mission to separate the belligerents. According to an OSCE resolution adopted in late December 1994, international peacekeeping forces can be deployed in the conflict zone only after the conflict has received a political resolution in order to guarantee the enforcement of the agreement. International Recognition of the 1915 Armenian Genocide9

Beginning in the 2000s, Armenian diplomats, acting at the official and public levels, turned more persistent and diligent in their efforts to convince foreign countries and organizations to recognize the Armenian genocide by Ottoman Turkey. An important prerequisite for the intensifying endeavor to get the genocide recognized was the wider and stronger interaction between the republic’s authorities and the Armenian diaspora abroad. Moreover, Robert Kocharyan, president of Armenia, speaking in one of his interviews on the possible compensation for the descendants of the genocide survivors, noted that it was the diaspora who raised the issue, acting as a demanding party. International recognition of the genocide has become one of the key issues in Armenia’s foreign policy. Armenia carries out diplomatic and political work in this area in both bilateral and multilateral formats, with the involvement of both the formal institutions responsible for carrying out foreign policy (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in coordination with the Ministry for the Diaspora), and the scientific and cultural institutions. An important role in creating an equitable historical awareness is given to the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, founded in 1995. Visiting the museum is an important part of the protocol events attended by foreign officials, including official visits of heads of state and government. The museum has already been visited by Pope John Paul II, presidents of Russia Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin, and Dmitry Medvedev, president of France Jacques Chirac, and other officials.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

The problem of recognizing the genocide concerns the governmental level of the executive branch, but also touches upon the legislative branch. Armenia actively employs parliamentary diplomacy and the resources of public diplomacy. A special role in recognizing the genocide internationally is given to the United States, where a large and influential Armenian diaspora operates. Official Washington, in view of strategically important relations with Turkey, refrains from using the term genocide, but President Barack Obama, in his annual appeals to American Armenians, used the Armenian equivalent, Meds Yeghern, having a connotation applicable to the Armenian genocide. However, the vast majority of US states and hundreds of municipalities have already recognized the Armenian genocide. A very serious test for the potential candidates for the post of the US ambassador to Turkey is the approval of their candidacies in the US Congress, where the positions of Armenian organizations and pro-Armenian congresspeople are traditionally strong. On January 29, 2001, France recognized the Armenian genocide at the official legislative level. On December 22, 2011, the National Assembly of France passed a bill on criminal liability for the denial of the Armenian genocide. Russia recognized the Armenian genocide in March 1995. In September 2001, Vladimir Putin was the first among the leaders of Soviet and post-Soviet Russia to visit the memorial to the victims of the 1915 Armenian genocide. In 2008, the Genocide Prevention Resolution, initiated by Armenia, was adopted by consensus at the seventh session of the UN Human Rights Council. Coauthors of the resolution As of 2016, the Armenian Genoincluded sixty-two countries of the cide had been officially recognized world. In line with this effort, in and condemned by thirty countries December 2008, at the proposal of of the world: Austria, Argentina, Armenia, the Declaration on the Armenia, Belgium, Bolivia, Sixtieth Anniversary of the ConvenBrazil, Bulgaria, Chile, the Czech tion on the Prevention and PunishRepublic, France, Germany, ment of the Crime of Genocide was Greece, Italy, Canada, Cyprus, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, adopted at the sixteenth OSCE Minthe Netherlands, Paraguay, Poland, isterial Council. Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, SweOf important political and symden, Switzerland, Syria, Uruguay, bolic significance was the participathe Vatican, and Venezuela. tion of the presidents of Russia, France, Serbia, and Cyprus in the events dedicated to the hundredth anniversary of the Armenian genocide, commemorated on April 24, 2015, in Yerevan.

Republic of Armenia

Development of Foreign Economic Relations10


The foreign economic relations of Armenia exhibit a negative trade balance—that is, imports exceed exports. This trend has been in place since the very beginning of independent establishment and development of the Armenian economy. The national economy could not quickly adjust to either import substitution or expansion of export production. The country’s agriculture was largely unable to increase the share of food supply to cater for its own needs. The energy deficit hampered the opportunity of boosting exports of metallurgical and chemical products. In 1995, cut diamonds and souvenir products accounted for about half of the total export volume. In the structure of imports, about a third was covered by foodstuffs, and about a fourth by energy. The imported foodstuffs mainly originated from far-abroad countries (partly through humanitarian aid channels), while hydrocarbons were supplied by Russia and Turkmenistan. In the period 2000–2013, the geography of exports and imports underwent noticeable transformations due to the world market fluctuations, the production and infrastructure facilities commissioned, and adjustments of the republic’s economy and foreign trade to World Trade Organization (WTO) membership (since 2003). Before accession to the organization, the growth of imports averaged 10 percent per year, while in 2003 growth increased to 28 percent, with a further increase to 49 percent in 2007. Exports in 2003 also increased, with a growth of 33 percent, but in the long run the growth rate was rather moderate. In the period 2003–2008, the negative trade balance increased 570 percent, with 2008 imports soaring four times above exports. In 2013, Armenia’s exports were evenly distributed among the CIS-12, the EU-27, and third countries, with each of the three groups accounting for a third of the total volume. The distribution structure of imports along these foreign trade directions was much more stable than that of exports. This is especially true for imports from third countries. The share of the CIS countries in the period 2005–2013 was gradually increasing, while the EU share was on the downturn. In the foreign trade turnover, the share of the CIS-12 countries in the period 2000–2013 grew from 20.8 percent to 32.5 percent, while the share of the EU-27 dropped from 36.8 percent to 27.8 percent. The contribution of third countries remained virtually unchanged, sliding from 43.1 percent to 42.2 percent. Since 2010, among the top ten countries importing Armenia’s products, Bulgaria is the leader, being the EU member closest to Armenia, and thanks to the established ferry communication between Varna and the ports of Georgia it has become Armenia’s trade corridor to the EU. Since July 2005, under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) regime, Armenia has


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

been entitled to special conditions for sustainable development and effective management, the so-called advanced regime of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP+). This regime gives Armenia’s exporters the opportunity of preferential access to the EU market, thus providing export to a range of about 6,400 Armenian goods with zero customs duty. Since 2009, the trade rate between Armenia and China has been growing particularly fast. China imports copper concentrate, brandy, and other goods, while exporting a variety of goods to Armenia, including clothes, shoes, engineering and chemical products, various equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs, and much more. Among the largest trading partners of Armenia, Russia is leading in terms of both exports (since 2008) and imports. It accounts for the major part of Armenia’s foreign trade with the CIS and the Eurasian Customs Union (EACU) and Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Currently, seventy Russian regions maintain trade relations with Armenia, forty of them having bilateral agreements on cooperation either with the country itself or with its specific regions (marzers). In 2014, the share of money transfers from Russia to Armenia amounted to 86 percent of the total volume of money transfers to Armenia. They amounted to $1.7 billion, or 30 percent of foreign trade turnover and 16 percent of Armenia’s GDP. The republic ranks fifth among the CIS countries by the volume of private noncommercial transfers from Russia. Raising Foreign Investment11

An important factor of Armenia’s economic development is the inflow of foreign investments into the country, starting from the broad privatization of 1994. A rather liberal entrepreneurial regime facilitated its growth. Throughout the period 2000–2013, Armenia ranked among the top CIS countries in entrepreneurship freedom indexes. By 2013, Armenia had accumulated over $8 billion of foreign investment, or 76.6 percent of the country’s GDP. Of that sum, about $6 billion, or 57.4 percent of GDP, was covered by foreign direct investment (FDI). The major part of it, brought to Armenia in the period 1988–2012, was associated with energy supply (22.2 percent) and the development of telecommunications (22.9 percent). Foreign investors also found attractive the areas of financial intermediation (10.6 percent), transport (9.5 percent), and mining (8.6 percent). A considerable share was invested into the real estate sector (5.0 percent) and beverage production (4.6 percent). Thus, FDI mainly dealt with the country’s infrastructure and export industries. Among the successful enterprises of Armenia, there are many companies with foreign capital. The lists of the top ten trading partner countries

Republic of Armenia


and the top ten countries by accumulated FDI are quite different. However, in both cases, these are mainly countries with large Armenian diasporas. In late 2013, the leading investor countries included Russia, France, Germany, Argentina, Greece, the United States, Lebanon, Canada, Cyprus, and Switzerland. As reported by the Central Bank of Armenia by the end of 2012, of the total net FDI reserves ($4.6 billion), 53 percent was coming from the CIS countries, 19.5 percent from the EU, and 27.5 percent from third countries. According to the National Statistical Service of Armenia, among the investor countries, Russia is leading with a large margin, accounting for more than 40 percent of all foreign investments, including 41.7 percent of direct investments. France ranks second with 15.5 percent of the total FDI volume. In the early 2000s, Russian investments displayed growth because ownership to a number of industrial assets was transferred to Russia due to Armenia’s debts. Similarly, several Armenian machine-building and chemical plants became property of Russian companies. Effective usage of these enterprises, however, proved difficult because of the high costs of equipment modernization, shipping, and personnel training. In 1997, ArmRosgazprom CJSC became the first major company with foreign investment established in Armenia. Its largest shareholder was Gazprom of Russia. At present, the Russian operator owns the whole gas transportation and distribution system of the republic. In January 2014, Gazprom signed a contract with the government of Armenia to purchase the remaining 20 percent stake in ArmRosgazprom CJSC, bringing its own share to 100 percent.

Among the successful examples of Russian investments in Armenia, it is worth mentioning Rusal Armenal CJSC, property of UC RUSAL of Russia, established in Yerevan in May 2000 on the basis of the Kanaker Aluminum Smelter, one of the largest industrial enterprises in Armenia and the sole manufacturer of aluminum foil in the South Caucasus and Central Asia. Having invested $70 million and using nonwaste technology, in the period 2004–2006 UC RUSAL turned Armenal into a successful enterprise, producing 25,000 tons of aluminum foil per year, amounting to 7 percent of world production. Since its inception in 2000, Rusal Armenal CJSC has invested about $120 million to modernize the plant. The aluminum produced is largely exported to the United States. As of January 1, 2015, the number of enterprises and separate subdivisions with Russian capital in Armenia totaled 1,260, being more than a quarter of all economic entities of the country with foreign captal participation.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Among major Russian investments in Armenian companies, one should note Electric Networks of Armenia, ArmenTel, K-Telecom, and some others. VTB Bank and Gazprombank acquired several banking assets in Armenia. South Caucasus Railway CJSC is a subsidiary of joint-stock company Russian Railways, carrying out concession management of Armenian railways. The agreement was signed in February 2008 for thirty years with the right of prolongation for another ten years. Accession to the Eurasian Economic Union12

An important task of Armenia’s foreign policy was the negotiations to join the Eurasian Economic Union, finished in 2015. From its accession to the EAEU, where mutual trade is not limited by customs duties or economic restrictions, except for special protective, antidumping, and compensation measures, Armenia expects to gradually receive a number of potential benefits: GDP growth (2–4 percent), which guarantees an increase in the living standard and indexation of wages with account of inflation; free access to the large and secure market of the Common Economic Space; inflow of investments for export production development; solution of the transport isolation problem; and mastering of energy problems (construction of new hydroelectric power plants and power units for the country’s nuclear power plants and Hrazdan thermal power plant) in a way that positively affects the end user while revenues from electricity exports to third countries fill in the country’s budget holes. Armenian entrepreneurs will be able to expand their business projects on the territory of the EACU/EAEU member states, while free movement of capital will save them from complex financial procedures and help them stay in the legal field secure from any negative consequences for their business. Potentially positive is that Armenian goods and services will gain access to the markets of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan free from customs duties. However, for the most part, Armenia is known for importing rather than exporting goods. Therefore, membership in the EACU/EAEU also gives Armenia an opportunity to carry out a policy of import substitution to develop domestic production. In addition, there is an opportunity to increase exports through the development of the country’s productive forces. This especially concerns expanding the range of agricultural commodities. Transport Accessibility and Transit Problems13

Having no access to the sea coast, in its foreign trade Armenia uses the transport corridors of its neighbor countries going in two directions:

Republic of Armenia


through Georgia in the north, and through Iran in the south. Armenia keeps up good-neighborly relations with both countries, which is necessary for economic cooperation on mutually beneficial terms. Armenia carries goods to the EU and Russia through the territory of Georgia. Transit through the territory of Iran provides Armenia with access to the countries of the Persian Gulf, while Armenia, in turn, offers Iran a trade link with Russia. Communication with Turkey is carried out on a third-party basis, in particular through Georgia. The border with Turkey remains closed on the initiative of Ankara. Armenia plans to continue improving its geoeconomic position by arranging transit traffic to third countries via Iran and Georgia. The republic’s government has the following key proposals: (1) building an IranArmenia railway line, with an estimated cost of approximately $1.5–2 billion and a construction period of five to six years; and (2) launching a north-south transport corridor, a road construction project of both regional and international importance (the Yerevan-Gyumri-Akhaltsikhe-ShuakheviBatumi highway). Armenia gives its neighbor countries a special role in its foreign trade. Since 2008, the growth of mutual trade with Iran has been largely accounted for by the construction of a gas pipeline between the two countries, and since 2007 by Iranian gas imports, complemented with Armenia’s electricity exports to Iran. Over time, Tehran has built up generating capacities of its own, and is no longer interested in this type of barter. This circumstance has decreased Iran’s share in Armenia’s foreign trade. Today, Iran offers to expand its gas exports to the market of Armenia at preferential prices without reciprocal supplies. In the near future, Iran is likely to seek opportunities and make full use of the direct neighborhood with the EACU/EAEU space. In particular, this is evidenced by the lasting discussion of the project to create a free trade zone on the border between Armenia and Iran. Armenia has the potential of becoming part of an alternative corridor for the transit of energy resources, promising to link the EU countries with their direct suppliers. This will reduce their extreme energy dependence on Russia, and in turn increase their economic security. This issue applies to Armenia as well. Having a dense network of ferry connections with the main ports of the Black Sea, Georgia plays an important role in Armenia’s foreign trade. One should note Georgia’s key role in the trade between Armenia and Russia. It acts as a major intermediary channeling the goods coming to Armenia from the EU, the CIS, and Turkey. With account of this function, Georgia ranks second among the countries supplying goods to Armenia. Most of those goods, including those coming from Turkey, arrive in Armenia through Georgia.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Cooperation with the Diaspora14

According to the 2007 national security strategy, the preservation of the Armenian identity and the development of the national identity of the Armenian people in the republic and the diaspora are quite important tasks serving to ensure the country’s security. On October 1, 2008, Armenia established the Ministry for the Diaspora, whose task is to develop long-term and institutional relations with the Armenian diaspora, suggesting not only its participation in the social and economic development of the republic (mainly through investment projects and programs), but also solid and systematic lobbying activity. A significant political and economic task on the pan-Armenian scale was to establish and institutionalize the interaction between Yerevan and the Armenian diaspora both in the sphere of international relations and in terms of the diaspora’s participation in economic and social development projects. In 1989, Kirk Kerkorian, a US billionaire of Armenian origin, established the Lincy Foundation, financing infrastructure projects in Armenia worth hundreds of millions of dollars, ranging from assistance programs for the victims of the Spitak earthquake to the construction of road infrastructure.

Major Foreign Policy Partners Relations with Russia15

Armenia’s relations with the Russian Federation, as well as the overall CISfocused foreign policy direction, are of strategic importance from the viewpoint of national interests and regional security. The dynamics of relations between the two countries was developing within the relatively stable strategic partnership paradigm, based on a solid contractual and legal framework elaborated back in the 1990s. In September–November 1992, for instance, Russia and Armenia prepared and signed several basic documents, regulating mutual relations of the two countries in several key spheres, such as the temporary status of the military base in Armenia, the order and timing of arms transfer to the armed forces of Armenia, the principles of economic cooperation, as well as monetary and financial obligations. In addition to Armenia’s participation in the Collective Security Treaty (signed May 15, 1992), the Russia-Armenia agreement to deploy the Russian military base in Armenia was signed in March 1995, and in August 1997 the two countries signed the Framework Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance. It was of considerable political significance

Republic of Armenia


for Yerevan that in March 1995 Russia officially recognized the Armenian genocide committed by Ottoman Turks. Still in the mid-1990s, Armenia and Russia reached a stage of highly elaborated foundation to develop their relations as reflecting the fundamental interests of the two countries and, to a significant degree, determining the functional orientations of Moscow and Yerevan in their medium- and long-term partnership in the regional arena. Despite the certain asymmetry of the relationship, with a greater emphasis on the military-technical aspect, the relations between Armenia and Russia exhibited fairly high stability. The commitment and aspiration of both countries to preserve traditional ties was formalized in terms of many bilateral and multilateral agreements. At the same time, the transforming foreign policy priorities of both Moscow and Yerevan to a certain extent influenced the level of political dialogue between the two countries. Given the high degree of social and political integration, the level and scope of bilateral relations are directly connected with the internal political development of the two countries. The administrations of Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev made conceptual changes, shifting toward a more pragmatic interpretation and conduct of the foreign policy course that evidently affected the context of the ArmeniaRussia relations too. In particular, the regulation and specification of bilateral interests significantly increased the level of mutual responsibility. One of the first official documents emphasizing the new political imperatives in the relations between Moscow and Yerevan, signed on September 26, 2000, by the presidents of the two countries, was the Declaration on Allied Cooperation Between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Armenia in the Twenty-First Century. Earlier, in March 2000, Russia and Armenia signed a protocol entitling Russia to maintain its military presence in the territory of Armenia for twenty-five years. On September 27, 2000, the defense ministers of the two countries signed three agreements on cooperation in the military sphere, namely on joint planning of military operations, on the rules regulating the Russian military presence in Armenia, and on granting the right to use each other’s airspace by the air forces of both countries. On October 1, 2002, the defense ministers signed a bilateral agreement on the joint use of military infrastructure and on information exchange. Before this, in March 1999, Russia and Armenia approved the rules for joint actions of the air defense of the Russian Federation and Armenia. After the planned events were fulfilled, the air defense and air reconnaissance equipment deployed in Armenia were integrated into a uniform air defense system with headquarters in Moscow. In April 2001, military and military-technical cooperation between the two countries intensified following the resolution to create a joint military contingent.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

In October 2002, the participants to the Collective Security Treaty (CST) established the CSTO. A distinctive feature of the new organization, similarly to Article 5 of the NATO Charter, was the clause stipulating that armed aggression against any of the six members of the CSTO shall be automatically regarded as an attack on all of them. Moreover, CSTO resolutions on international issues are mandatory for all of the member-states. Unlike the previous provisions of the CST on “the necessity of multilateral consultations to organize armed response to the aggressor,” the amended mutual security guarantees were designed to improve the efficiency of the existing regional security structure. In this context, cooperation between Armenia and Russia with regard to regional security and military cooperation has considerably expanded. First, issues related to the Russian military facilities, equipment, and personnel redeployed to the 102nd Military Base of the Russian Federation, in Gyumri, were resolved on a bilateral basis, as well as the distribution of armament quotas in accordance with the flank maximum adapted to the CFE Treaty. In order to improve the efficiency of the CSTO activities, the two countries signed several documents related to decisionmaking procedures, joint use of force, interoperability, information exchange, militarytechnical cooperation, and the like. Second, in line with improving the interoperability of the CSTO forces and formalizing the relations in the defense sphere, Armenia has strengthened its ties with the CSTO collective security system. The armed forces of Armenia took an active part in a number of CSTO military exercises. In 2004, one year before the exercises, the heads of the CSTO member states, acting in accordance with the basic directions for the CSTO coalition military formation, resolved to create a unified CSTO air defense system. Third, as a CSTO member state, Armenia has received the right to purchase Russian military equipment and products at preferential domestic prices. Following Vladimir Putin’s visit to Yerevan in September 2001, the two countries signed a treaty on long-term economic cooperation until 2010. The practical aspect of Russia’s vigorous economic activity in the countries of Transcaucasia was the acquisition of sizable assets in Armenia. In the period 2002–2004 alone, the largest Russian corporations acquired the whole energy system of Armenia and other industrial assets. As early as 2000, Armenia and Russia signed an agreement on cooperation in peaceful nuclear development. Sergey Kiriyenko, the head of Rosatom, confirmed that the Russian side was ready to both assist Armenia in building a modern nuclear power unit and participate in the project financially. The plan to intensify nuclear energy cooperation with Armenia was also confirmed at the highest level during the official visit of Armenia’s president Serzh Sargsyan to Moscow on June 23–25, 2008.

Republic of Armenia


During the 2000s, the interaction was both expanded and institutionalized. It was the institutional framework that embraced the important resolutions in both the military-strategic and the political spheres, regarding the formation of the CSTO peacekeeping forces, the improvement of mobility and operational compatibility of the armed forces, and carrying out CSTO exercises on the territory of Armenia. By that time, the trade turnover between the two countries exceeded $1 billion, and the Russian capital (along with investments and joint ventures) took the leading positions in the Armenian market. Moreover, at the first official meeting of the heads of state, President Dmitry Medvedev confirmed Russia’s plans to strengthen its position as the main investor in the Armenian economy. By 2013, when Armenia decided to join the EACU, Russia’s share in the republic’s turnover reached 23.5 percent, and the Russian investments in the Armenian economy (since 1991) exceeded $3 billion. In June 2008, Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandyan confirmed the continuity of Armenia’s foreign policy, saying: “We shall pursue an active, intense foreign policy based on the protection of our national interests and pragmatism, implying a higher level of the country’s involvement in international and regional organizations, dynamic development of our relations both bilaterally and multilaterally. For Armenia, our allied strategic cooperation with Russia is of extreme importance, as it is based on the traditional ties of friendship between our peoples, which we intend to further expand and strengthen through carrying out new mutually beneficial projects. Armenia will deepen its friendly partnership with the USA and make efforts for higher involvement in European integration processes. . . . All of this testifies not to the changing of our foreign policy priorities, but to their continuity. If any changes do take place, they will only concern certain aspects.”16 The state visit of President Medvedev (August 2010) and President Putin (December 2013) to Armenia confirmed the strategic continuity of the bilateral and multilateral partnership of the two countries. In 2010, Armenia and Russia signed a protocol to extend the stay of the Russian military base in Gyumri until 2044. It was this base that became an important link in ensuring regional security after the withdrawal of the Russian military bases from Georgia (2006–2008). In June 2013, during the official visit of Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, to Yerevan, the Russian Federation and Armenia signed an agreement on the development of military-technical cooperation, providing for the mutual exchange of military products having the same characteristics and configuration as those supplied by both countries to their own national armed forces and troops, military formations, law enforcement bodies, and special services. In late


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

2015, the two countries adopted a decision to create a uniform air defense system. Relations with the United States17

Diplomatic relations between Armenia and the United States were established on January 7, 1992, and in early February of the same year the US diplomatic mission began its service in Yerevan. In March 1992, the Armenian embassy opened in Washington, D.C. Since 1995, the Armenian consulate has been working in Los Angeles. The importance and strategic relevance of maintaining and developing relations with the United States is predetermined by far more important factors than the existence of the influential Armenian diaspora, which for decades has been using its significant lobbying potential in dealing with issues concerning Armenia and the Armenian people. During the initial period of forming the new political identity in the early 1990s, many representatives of the diaspora, holding high government posts, were directly connected with the United States. For instance, Raffi Hovannisian, the first minister of foreign affairs of Armenia (1991–1992), is a former American citizen. Bilateral relations between Armenia and the United States have largely broadened and intensified, covering almost all spheres of interstate and international cooperation over the past two decades or more. At the same time, as was the case with other CIS countries, the issues of democratic development, civil society, and building democratic institutions in the republic are part of a separate format of political dialogue between Armenia and the United States, as Washington holds on to its own position that entails certain domestic political effect for Armenia. The two countries have signed a number of framework agreements regulating relations in several key areas of cooperation, including the Agreement on Reciprocal Encouragement and Protection of Investment (signed September 23, 1992, in effect since March 1996). Bilateral relations between Armenia and the United States reflect both macroregional interests and their transformations, as well as their political and economic aspects. In particular, the US position was of decisive importance in the accession of Armenia, as well as of other CIS countries, to the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, and later in Armenia’s participation in the NATO Partnership for Peace program in 1994. In January 1997, the United States stated that the countries of Transcaucasia and the five Central Asian republics are of “vital political and economic significance for the United States.”18 The volume of monetary aid considerably increased. In the 1990s, all eight of those countries received $2.2 billion. In March 1998, Strobe Talbott, US deputy secretary

Republic of Armenia


of state, speaking at the committee hearings in the US Congress, expressed the essence of the US strategy for the Caucasus region, saying: “The political and economic dimensions of our policy mutually reinforce each other; they are integrated into a single strategy. The peoples of the South Caucasus can fulfill their potential only if democracy and civil society prosper and only if material and economic infrastructures, i.e. pipelines, markets, oil fields, as well as legislative and regulatory structures are open to the outside world.”19 The developing cooperation also concerns a number of specialized areas. For example, considering the operation of the Armenian nuclear power plant, the two countries have established bilateral cooperation in nuclear materials and technologies. On July 24, 2000 (in effect since November 2002), a bilateral intergovernmental agreement on countering proliferation of weapons of mass destruction was signed. In 2010, the topic of nuclear safety was discussed at the Washington, D.C., summit between the two presidents, Sargsyan and Obama. Since the beginning of the 2000s, contacts and cooperation with the United States and NATO in military and military-technical spheres remarkably intensified in terms of the widely promoted US policy on counterterrorism and military operations in the Middle East (2003) and Afghanistan (2001). Armenia gradually expanded the participation of its military personnel in US training programs. In 2003, Armenia hosted NATO exercises for the first time in its history. In 2004, the Jackson-Vanik Amendment was abolished for Armenia, opening access to US technologies. Before that, in 2002, Washington had positively reacted to Armenia’s accession to the WTO. The interest of the United States in maintaining regional stability, as well as supporting the institution of cochairship to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, was confirmed during the October 2005 and March 2006 regional visits of Daniel Fried, US assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. The main emphases in the US foreign policy strategy were ensured during the visit of Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, to Armenia in July 2010, generally matching the foreign policy priorities of the Obama administration on US involvement in the regional affairs in conjunction with the EU. Apart from private investments, the American economic and politicaleconomic presence in Armenia was emphasized by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) program. The agreement, signed between the government of Armenia and MCC on March 27, 2006, provided Armenia with a grant of $236 million. At the same time, the United States afforded Armenia the status of permanent normal trade relations. On October 18, 2012, during the regular meeting of the US-Armenia Joint Economic Taskforce (USATF), a memorandum of understanding on


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

cooperation in the energy sector was signed, and in November 2013, Washington announced an investment agreement of $180 million to be allocated for the Vorotan Cascade of hydroelectric power plants. Armenia was included in the US Agency for International Development (USAID) list of twenty target countries for carrying out projects in the fields of science, technology, and innovation. In 2014, the two countries simplified the visa regime, as earlier agreed at the meeting between Armenian foreign minister Eduard Nalbandyan and the US secretary of state John Kerry. Cooperation with the European Union, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe20

The European direction of foreign policy is crucial for Armenia, primarily in terms of multilateral contacts and cooperation between Yerevan and the European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the Council of Europe. The European direction also includes other integration formats, such as Armenia’s participation in the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), as well as interaction with NATO through a number of regional and bilateral programs. Apart from the scale of trade and economic ties (over 40 percent of Armenia’s commodity turnover on average), Armenia’s cooperation with the EU was also predetermined by humanitarian, cultural, social, and political imperatives of development, as well as perspectives in the field of security and access to advanced technologies. The humanitarian sphere, including religious and cultural identity, has greatly influenced Armenia in expanding and deepening its ties with Europe. The EU-based Armenian diaspora is a very significant factor for Yerevan in delivering its foreign policy priorities in the European direction. At the first stage of Armenia’s cooperation with the EU (1992–1998), the latter was providing financial support and involving Armenia in the regionwide EU schemes in Transcaucasia. For example, under the Technical Aid to the Commonwealth of Independent States (TACIS) program, carried out from 1992 to 1995, Armenia was assigned ECU 35 million.21 The European programs at that time were mainly aimed at restructuring of state enterprises, development of the private sector, as well as political and economic reforms. On December 15, 1995, the EU signed agreements on partnership and cooperation with all the countries of the region, and in July 1998, the EU and the countries of Transcaucasia adopted a joint action plan with a budget of ECU 10 million, focused on infrastructure, the private sector, and human resources. Taken in their entirety, Armenia’s interests in expanding cooperation with Europe were limited to both political considerations (improving relations with the EU and potentially developing integration projects in view of

Republic of Armenia


the blockade), and financial and economic calculations (sourcing European resources and capital for the republic). On October 12, 1999, the Cooperation Council between the European Union and Armenia held its first meeting, in Luxembourg. The parties also agreed to communicate in terms of the Cooperation Committee and the Parliamentary Cooperation Committee. Thus the parties have shifted toward a mutually beneficial cooperation, abandoning the obsolete model of donor relations. Changing the EU position on the Armenian nuclear power plant was an important victory of Armenia’s diplomacy achieved during the visit of President Kocharyan to Brussels in 2001. Before that, the EU had demanded that Armenia should unconditionally shut down the power plant by 2004. In February 2002, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on EU policy in the Caucasus region, which called for Turkey to end the blockade of Armenia in the context of Ankara’s aspirations to join the EU, also confirming the provisions of the June 18, 1987, resolution on the recognition of the Armenian genocide and urging Turkey to lay the basis for reconciliation.22 In 2001–2002, the EU also partly amended the priorities of the TACIS program. In 2003, the EU adopted a decision to establish a new institution of representation in the region, the post of the EU special representative for the South Caucasus. In July 2004, proceeding from the recommendation of the European Commission, the three countries of the region were invited to become members of the European Neighborhood program. However, in a relatively more specific fashion, political, economic, trade, transport, and energy spheres of Armenia’s cooperation with the EU were outlined in terms of the Eastern Partnership program, which Armenia joined along with Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. In the period 2009–2013, Armenia’s relations with the EU along with general and strategic regional priorities also implied the conclusion of an association agreement and a free trade agreement with the participating countries. Accepting the complexity of the issues on agenda, in 2009 President Sargsyan signed a decree creating an interdepartmental commission to coordinate the process and outlining four areas to improve and systematize cooperation: (1) democracy, governance, and stability; (2) economic integration and compliance with EU policies; (3) energy security; and (4) the humanitarian sphere. The negotiations to sign an EU association agreement began on July 19, 2010. On September 3, 2013, following the Moscow meeting between the presidents of the Russian Federation and Armenia, the latter ultimately resolved to join the Eurasian Customs Union, with subsequent membership to the Eurasian Economic Union (October 2014), simultaneously losing the option of concluding trade relationship agreements with the EU. Despite


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

the fact that the EU association agreement had been ready for signature, Yerevan and Brussels reaffirmed their intention to continue cooperating with due account for the new conditions, as they announced on November 29, 2013, during the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius. Stefan Fule, EU commissioner for enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, assured that the European Union would still assist in diversifying Armenia’s economy and carrying out reforms, and do everything to bring the EU and Armenia closer, regardless of whether the country is a member of the EACU. The agreement between the EU and Armenia on easing the visa regime and readmission came into effect on January 1, 2014, and Yerevan was granted the opportunity to participate in EU programs and projects. Membership in the OSCE, another key European structure, is relevant for Yerevan from the standpoint of both foreign policy making and engagement into the European security system, while the other particular reason is that the organization has the mandate for the settlement of the NagornoKarabakh conflict, particularly within the format of the Minsk Group. In 1999, the OSCE opened its office in Yerevan. In the same year, at the OSCE summit in Istanbul, Armenia signed the updated Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. The OSCE competence concerns an extensive range of matters, including domestic political issues, aspects related to human rights, the electoral code, and alternative service. Together with the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the OSCE monitors electoral processes in the country. Armenia’s relations with the Council of Europe were initially based on maintaining regional political parity between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The two republics’ candidatures for accession to the Council of Europe were examined in parallel. Consequently, on January 25, 2001, the Council of Europe granted membership to both countries simultaneously. Armenia-France Relations23

The substantive aspects of cooperation with Europe also develop on a bilateral basis, with individual European countries. Armenia has established interstate and humanitarian cooperation with the largest and most important countries of Europe, such as France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Close ties have been established with Greece since the second half of the 1990s, including relations in the field of military training and refresher training. However, Armenia’s most advanced and complex relations, including a very important political component, are with France. Since the 1990s, the two countries have been increasingly cooperating in practically all spheres. A substantial base of normative and contractual relations has been developed in various areas of partnership, ranging from the framework intergovernmental agreement to the specialized interaction

Republic of Armenia


in the defense and political sectors. French (or joint) capital is equally well exposed in Armenia’s service sector and infrastructure assets. In political terms, France is the central country of the EU, interested in expanding European interests in the Caucasus and developing projects to integrate the region into wider forFrench business is widely repremats of the European neighborhood; sented in Armenia. In 1998, Perit has thus contributed to the intenod Ricard acquired the Yerevan gration of the countries of the Brandy Factory together with the region into the European space, Ararat trademark. Another large Armenia being among the first of French company, Orange, operthem. At the same time, having ates in the Armenian telecommuobtained considerable experience in nications market. French companies also invest in the republic’s nuclear technologies, French commining industry. panies showed considerable interest in investment projects involving the Armenian nuclear power plant, while Total, a large oil company, has participated in Caspian offshore energy projects since the 1990s. Humanitarian and cultural In 2000, the French University was cooperation, being the most imporfounded in Yerevan, and in 2010 tant component of the partnership Armenia joined the International between the two republics, has conOrganization of the Francophonie. siderably expanded since 2000. The Armenian diaspora of France is one of the largest in Europe (about 500,000 people). These people are essentially the descendants of Armenians from western Armenia who survived the genocide in the Ottoman Empire. After the devastating 1988 earthquake in Spitak and Leninakan, the Armenian diaspora of France provided Armenia with great assistance. Charles Aznavour, the famous French chansonnier of Armenian descent, was among the donors.

The period 2006–2007 was declared the Year of Armenia in France, launched September 30, 2006, during the French president’s official visit to Yerevan. France, being one of the three cochair countries in the OSCE Minsk Group for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, represents the European Union in the negotiation process. Relations with Georgia24

Relations with its closest neighbors, Georgia and Iran, play an important role in Armenia’s foreign policy agenda, based on cooperation, friendship, and mutual benefit.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Armenia has traditionally had political, cultural, and economic ties with Georgia, being at a fairly high level since the declaration of state sovereignty. The two countries have institutionalized about a hundred interstate agreements and treaties. It is no accident that Armenia, as an independent republic, signed its first interstate agreement with Georgia. The first large set of interstate agreements between Georgia and Armenia was concluded on May 19, 1993, in Yerevan. They included political, economic, cultural, scientific, educational, customs, and other spheres of cooperation. The main political document was the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Security. The first paragraph of the treaty states that the bilateral relations are friendly. In case of threat to the parties or the region as a whole, the parties committed themselves to organize a meeting to discuss measures and actions for the preservation of peace and mutual security. In 1999, the presidents of both countries signed the Declaration of the Basic Principles of Cooperation on the New Level of Relations Between the Republic of Armenia and Georgia. This document determined the mechanisms of bilateral and regional multilateral cooperation. At present, the relations between the two countries are regulated by the amended and supplemented version of the Treaty on Friendship dated October 23, 2001. The two countries also have mutual parliamentary ties, with the legal basis provided by the February 1997 joint communiqué on bilateral cooperation. In 1998, it was supplemented by the agreement on interparliamentary cooperation. The parliaments of the two countries have friendship groups. Trade and economic ties between Armenia and Georgia are also developing. Georgia is given great importance as a transit country. Work is under way to develop cooperation in transport and energy. There is a power transmission line connecting the two countries. The large Armenian community in Georgia is another important factor of bilateral relations. Armenia is trying to use the potential of the Armenian community in Georgia to develop and strengthen relations between the two countries. According to the plebiscite of 1989, there were 437,000 Armenians living in Georgia (8 percent of the country’s population). Today, this number is around 250,000. They live mainly in Samtskhe-Javakheti and Tsalka, the bordering regions of Georgia, and in Tbilisi, the capital.

However, there are principal foreign policy differences affecting their bilateral relations. Armenia, proceeding from the principle of complementarity in foreign policy, has established strong ties with the Russian Federation and other countries of the former Soviet Union, but also seeks to strengthen its ties with the European countries, the United States, and other centers of political and economic power outside the Caucasus region.

Republic of Armenia


Georgia adheres to the policy of deepening trilateral and bilateral relations in the region with Turkey and Azerbaijan, as well as of active participation in European and Euro-Atlantic integration processes. In light of these circumstances, as well as of the tension of Russian-Georgian relations, in recent years the political ties between Georgia and Armenia have been on the downturn. Despite this, the official circles of both countries have repeatedly declared that the differences in foreign policy orientation should not impede the development of their relations. Moreover, Armenia has expressed readiness to mediate in the process of settling Russian-Georgian relations. The two countries also seek to maintain mutual neutrality toward the issues of Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia. The settlement of the Abkhazian issue and Russian-Georgian relations is of great economic importance for Armenia. As the railway connecting Georgia and Abkhazia is closed, Armenia has to trade with Russia by road or air transport, which is much more expensive than railway freight. The agenda between Armenia and Georgia also includes the interstate border demarcation problem. The foreign affairs ministries of the two countries have commissions on delimitation and demarcation, primarily aimed at finishing the process of border demarcation. The two countries have active tourist connections, essentially developing after 2003, when the new Georgian authorities became more attentive to the issue. In 2015, Armenia was ranked first by the number of its tourists in Georgia, totaling 1.5 million. Cooperation with Iran25

Relations with Iran are also important for Armenia. This is mainly due to the traditional cultural and economic ties, as well as foreign policy interests of the two countries. For Armenia, Iran is a transit country, making it possible to reach out to the Middle East, Central Asia, and East Asia. For the same reason, Armenia is important for Iran. Armenia established good-neighborly relations with Iran, approved by the Declaration on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between Armenia and the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Declaration on Principles and Aims of Relations Between the Republic of Armenia and the Islamic Republic of Iran (signed in Tehran in February 1992). As part of an official visit to Iran on May 6–8, 1992, Armenia’s president Levon Ter-Petrosyan and his Iranian counterpart signed the joint Declaration on Cooperation, Friendship, and Good Neighborliness. Cooperation programs in the fields of energy, trade, economy, and transport show considerable activity between the two countries. In addition to the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline already operating, Iran plans to build another gas pipeline through Armenia to export gas to Georgia and Europe.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

The two sides have long since reached agreement on the construction of the Iran-Armenia oil pipeline, as well as the construction of an oil refinery in Armenia, but these plans are now suspended. Politically, Armenian-Iranian relations are clearly inferior to the countries’ economic ties. This is due to the peculiarities of the Iranian foreign policy, since Iran seeks to maintain restraint in this sphere. Iran adheres to the balance principle in expressing its position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Iran is one of the most important Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries, having extensive political and economic authority in the Islamic world; it is thus important for Armenia in terms of the dialogue with Islamic states regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. In 1999, Armenia established interparliamentary cooperation with Iran. Importance is also given to the development of cooperation in trilateral formats between Iran, Armenia, and Turkmenistan; between Iran, Armenia, and Greece; and between Iran, Armenia, and Russia. Relations with Turkey26

Armenia has no diplomatic relations with Turkey. In December 1991, Turkey recognized the independence of the republic, but making several preconditions to Armenia for the establishment of diplomatic relations and the development of bilateral cooperation, namely urging it to renounce the process of international recognition of the Armenian genocide, to recognize the territorial integrity of Turkey in the current borders, and to return to Azerbaijan the territories adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh, now controlled by the armed forces of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Armenia strongly follows the course of establishing diplomatic relations without preconditions. In 1992, the two countries had rather active ties, officially discussing the issues of opening border checkpoints and operating the GyumriErzurum railway. Turkey even proposed to build the new Erzurum-Trabzon railway, granting Armenia access to the Black Sea. On June 25, 1992, Armenia took part in the founding conference of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, becoming a founding member of the organization. The issue of Armenia’s participation in energy and west-east transport links was also on the agenda. As a matter of fact, the Turkish leaders never concealed that by drawing Armenia into promising economic programs they expected that Armenia, in turn, would compromise on the NagornoKarabakh issue. Eventually, due to the opposition of Turkey and Azerbaijan, Armenia stayed outside of the Caspian Sea oil and gas transit to Europe. On April 3, 1993, Turkey banned all types of cargo transportation going to Armenia, claiming that such transportation helps Armenia in its war against Azerbaijan. In 1995, Turkey opened its air corridor for Arme-

Republic of Armenia


nia’s civil aircraft, but the land border is still closed. The negotiations on opening the border gained some traction in 1997 (there was a suggestion to open the border), but President Suleyman Demirel said that Turkey would not improve relations with Armenia by spoiling its relations with Azerbaijan. In the period 2001–2004, the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission was established, working on the initiative of the US Department of State. In 2008, a new stage in the settlement of Armenian-Turkish relations began. Turkey’s president Abdullah Gul arrived in Yerevan on a visit at the invitation of Armenia’s pworesident Sargsyan. The national teams of Armenia and Turkey were drawn in the same qualifying group of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. On September 6, 2008, the national teams of the two countries held a football match, with the Turkey team winning 2–0. This match served as a formal occasion for the visit of Turkey’s president to Yerevan, and this idea was called “football diplomacy.”

On October 10, 2010, in Zurich, the foreign ministers of the two countries signed the Protocol on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey and the Protocol on the Development of Relations Between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey. It was planned to fulfill the obligations assumed in reasonable terms and without preconditions. However, later Turkey made a sharp change in its position. The Grand National Assembly of Turkey made a condition to ratify the protocols only after the Nagorno-Karabakh issue had been settled. In view of the situation and responding to the joint statement from the political councils of the parties composing the governing coalition in Armenia, on April 22, 2010, the president of Armenia signed a decree suspending ratification of the protocols. Armenian-Turkish interstate relations mainly rely on the legal and contractual basis of the UN and the OSCE, as well as on mutual commitments undertaken by the countries in terms of the BSEC. Armenia has repeatedly tried to settle relations with Turkey, to no avail so far. Diplomatic relations and the opening of the Kars-Gyumri railway, connecting the two countries, are important for the republic. The territory of Turkey is of great significance for Armenia as a means of transit. The Turkish army is the second largest military force in NATO, and Turkey has great political and economic influence in the region. For Turkey, however, one should not underestimate the importance of Armenia, either. The relations of the latter with Azerbaijan have strategic importance for Turkey, as well as friendly ties with some countries of Central Asia, which Turkey can potentially access through Armenia.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

1. The following section was contributed by Roman Gagikovich Karapetyan. 2. The following section was contributed by Vahagn Robertovich Aglyan. 3. R. P. Adalian, Armenia’s Foreign Policy: Defining Priorities and Coping with Conflict in the Making of Foreign Policy in Russia and the New States of Eurasia, edited by A. Dawish and K. Dawish (Armonk, N.Y.: Shape, 1995), p. 325. 4. “Declaration of State Sovereignty of Armenia,” August 23, 1990, http:// 5. “National Security Strategy of the Republic of Armenia,” January 26, 2007, 6. “Armenia Parliament Speaker: The Principal Direction of Our Foreign Policy Needs No Revision,” REGNUM News, June 23, 2008, /news/1018359.html. 7. A. Idan and B. Shaffer, “The Foreign Policies of the Post-Soviet Landlocked States,” Post-Soviet Affairs vol. 27, no. 3 (2011), p. 243. 8. The following section was contributed by Vahagn Robertovich Aglyan. 9. The following section was contributed by Vahagn Robertovich Aglyan. 10. The following section was contributed by Roman Gagikovich Karapetyan and Beniamin Viktorovich Mailyan. 11. The following section was contributed by Roman Gagikovich Karapetyan and Beniamin Viktorovich Mailyan. 12. The following section was contributed by Roman Gagikovich Karapetyan and Beniamin Viktorovich Mailyan. 13. The following section was contributed by Roman Gagikovich Karapetyan and Beniamin Viktorovich Mailyan. 14. The following section was contributed by Beniamin Viktorovich Mailyan. 15. The following section was contributed by Vahagn Robertovich Aglyan. 16. “Unauthorized Rally: Armenia This Week,” REGNUM News, June 20, 2008, 17. The following section was contributed by Vahagn Robertovich Aglyan. 18. R. M. Avakova and A. G. Lisova (eds.), Russia and Transcaucasia: The Realities of Independence and a New Partnership (Moscow: FinStatInform, 2000), p. 53. 19. Deputy Secretary S. Talbott, Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Washington, D.C., March 31, 1998. 20. The following section was contributed by Vahagn Robertovich Aglyan. 21. Guide to the Implementation of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement Between Armenia and the European Communities and Their Member States, June 2000, pp. 92–93. 22. COM (1999) 272-C5-0116/1999–1999/2119 (COS). 23. The following section was contributed by Vahagn Robertovich Aglyan. 24. The following section was contributed by Roman Gagikovich Karapetyan. 25. The following section was contributed by Roman Gagikovich Karapetyan. 26. The following section was contributed by Roman Gagikovich Karapetyan.


Suggested Readings Aglyan, V. R. “The Russian Federation and South Caucasus: Structural Interconnections and Prospects for the Development of Relations.” 21st Century, no. 1 (2006), pp. 146–172.

Republic of Armenia


Executive Committee of the CIS. Economy of the CIS: 10 Years of Reforms and Integration Development. Moscow: FinStatInform, 2001. Guseynov, V. A. (ed.). South Caucasus: Trends and Problems of Development (1992–2008). Moscow: Krasnaya Zvezda, 2008. Kardumyan, V. “Collective Security in the South Caucasus: Conceptual Aspect.” Russia and the New States of Eurasia, no. 3 (2013), pp. 15–23. Kornilov, A. A., A. S. Sorokin, and A. P. Korotyshev. The Process of Shaping the Foreign Policy of the Republic of Armenia: Workshop. Nizhny Novgorod: Nizhny Novgorod State University, 2014. Kozhokin, E. M. (ed.). Armenia: Problems of Independent Development. Moscow: Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, 1998. Minasyan, S. N. “Search for Stability in the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict.” Russia in Global Politics, no. 1 (2012), pp. 142–154. Nalbandyan, E. A. “Russia Is Our Principal Trading Partner, the Main Investor in the Economy of Armenia.” Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn no. 4 (2015), pp. 19–29. Novikova, G. (ed). Landmarks of Armenia’s Foreign Policy. Yerevan: Spectrum Strategic Analysis Center, 2002. Tavadyan, A. A. “Integration Priorities of Armenia: A View from Yerevan.” Russia and the New States of Eurasia, no. 2 (2014), pp. 28–42.

3 Republic of Azerbaijan

Foreign Policy Determinants Territorial and Geographic Potential Azerbaijan is situated in the South Caucasus, in the Caspian Sea basin; it borders on Russia in the north, Georgia in the northwest, Armenia in the west, Turkey in the southwest, and Iran in the south. The state border with Russia is 392 kilometers long, with Georgia 471 kilometers, with Armenia 1,007 kilometers, with Turkey 15 kilometers, and with Iran 765 kilometers. The republic’s water borders are 825 kilometers long, with Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Russia, and Iran (across the Caspian Sea). Azerbaijan’s territory is 86,600 square kilometers. Azerbaijan is a mountainous Azerbaijan has an exclave—the Nakhchivan Autonomous Repubcountry with a diverse and rugged lic; it is surrounded from all sides relief. The absolute height varies by the territories of Armenia, between 4,480 meters (Mount Iran, and Turkey. The Nakhchivan Bazarduzu, Greater Caucasus range) airport and Iran’s territory are and minus 27 meters (the current used to establish links with the Caspian Sea level), with an average mainland of Azerbaijan. height of 657 meters. The larger part of Azerbaijan’s geographic territory is occupied by lowlands. The biggest of them is the Kura-Aras Lowland, which is bound by sloping plains and low-hill terrain. There are 450 lakes in Azerbaijan; their total area is 395 square kilometers. The country has deposits of ferrous metals, such as iron and This chapter was contributed by Mirmekhti Mirkamil Agazade and Alimusa Giulmusa Ogly Ibragimov. 81


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

chromic iron, nonferrous metals (copper, lead, zinc, molybdenum, cobalt, aluminum, and mercury), and precious metals such as gold and silver. Demographic Potential According to national estimates, Azerbaijan’s population was about 9.9 million people in 2018. The natural increase of the population is positive. According to the 2009 census, Azerbaijan’s population consists of Azerbaijanis (91.6 percent), Lezgins (2.0 percent), Russians (1.3 percent), Talysh people (1.3 percent), Armenians (1.3 percent), and other ethnic groups (2.5 percent). In addition, Jews, Tat people, Avars, Tsakhurs, Rutuls, Ingiloys, Budukhs, Kryts, and other ethnic minorities live in the country’s territory. Azerbaijanis are the most populous ethnic group in the Caucasus; according to some estimates, their total number is over 40 million people. Azerbaijan pays special attention to relations with Iran, because, according to varied estimates, up to 30 million Azerbaijanis live in that country. Economic Potential Since 1991, the country has seen several stages in its economic development. From 1991 to 1995, it was seeing an economic decline. Macroeconomic stability had been achieved by 1996, and after that, a period of economic upturn began. From 2003 to 2008, Azerbaijan’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by over 2.5 times, with the highest growth rates achieved between 2005 and 2008. Azerbaijan accounts for two-thirds of the GDP of all countries of the South Caucasus. At present, the private sector accounts for 85 percent of economy. An impressive economic rise was driven by active utilization of the country’s natural resource potential, as new mineral deposits were developed, energy resource output was increased, direct foreign investments were brought into the country, oil and gas pipelines were built, and exports of oil, petroleum products, and natural gas climbed. The oil and gas industry is the driving force for the development of other sectors of economy. In December 1999, the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) was set up. Its purpose was to ensure efficient management of oil-generated revenue. In 2012, the fund’s assets exceeded $30 billion. The fund invests in assets denominated in currencies of Group of Seven (G7) nations, the Russian Federation, Turkey, and countries with first-grade credit rating. Considerable investments are made toward purchase of real estate abroad. Since 2006, Shahmar Movsumov has been the fund’s executive director. In 2009, when the fund was to celebrate its first ten-year anniversary, the construction of its headquarters began. The high-rise SOFAZ tower was built in 2011.

Republic of Azerbaijan


In addition to the fuel and energy industry, priorities of Azerbaijan’s economic policy include information technologies and Internet services, machine-building, consumer (textile) industry, and agriculture. Key industries in agriculture are crop farming (cotton growing, viniculture, tea culture, sugar cane breeding), intensive gardening and seedling production, horticulture and melon cultivation, livestock breeding, commercial poultry farming, grain farming, and apiculture. The export potential of Azerbaijan’s agricultural products is becoming stronger every year. Armed Forces Azerbaijan’s armed forces include land troops, an air force, and a navy. Active personnel number 67,000 people, and 300,000 military personnel stay in reserve. Azerbaijan’s military budget amounted to $135 million in 2003, $2 billion in 2013, and $3.2 billion in 2014; in 2015 it exceeded $4 billion. Azerbaijan’s air force has 8,000 Based on an agreement, Azerbaipersonnel, about 200 combat airjan bought 29 upgraded MIGplanes, nearly 160 military helicop29M combat airplanes from ters, as well as 46 auxiliary aircrafts Ukraine, and 26 JF-17 (Thunder) and helicopters. airplanes from Pakistan, includAzerbaijan’s navy has 3,000 ing MI-24 helicopters, in 2006. personnel. The navy consists of a brigade of surface vessels, which includes a waterway area defense battalion, a battalion of landing vessels, a countermine battalion, a battalion of search and rescue vessels, and a battalion of training ships. In addition, there is a unit of service vessels. More than 15,000 people serve in units of the state border security service, coast guard, and internal troops of Azerbaijan’s Ministry of the Interior. The border security service has about 150 infantry fighting vehicles, 20 armored vehicles, and about 20 combat Mi-35M helicopters. The coast guard has ten ships, made in the United States, Israel, and former Soviet Union. Conceptual Framework and Mechanisms of Foreign Policy Foreign Policy Objectives After declaration of independence, activities of Azerbaijan on the international stage have been aimed at addressing a number of top priority objectives, such as strengthening state sovereignty, territorial integrity, and inviolability of borders; creating a favorable external environment for economic development; handling social issues; and maintaining domestic political stability. The fundamental principles of foreign policy of Azerbaijan are based on universally recognized rules of international law.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Main efforts in Azerbaijan’s foreign policy are focused on the following:

• Equitable and just resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, restoration of the country’s territorial integrity, and bringing refugees back home. • Active use of energy diplomacy to foster the country’s progressive development, its economic growth, improvement of living standards, successful democratic transformations, and reinforcement of a secular, constitution-based state. • Building a belt of good-neighborly relations along state borders, and contributing to the elimination of existing and prevention of emergence of new hotspots of potential tension and conflicts in the South Caucasus. • Accelerated integration into the international community, and, in Euro-Atlantic structures, searching for understanding and converging interests with foreign countries and interstate associations when addressing objectives determined by national priorities. • Influencing regional processes with the aim of building a stable, just, and democratic world order based on generally recognized rules of international law, including goals and principles of the United Nations (UN) Charter. • Comprehensive protection of rights and interests of Azerbaijan’s citizens and fellow countrymen abroad.

Since the day the country became independent, main priorities of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy have been defense and reinforcement of state independence, resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, promoting the country’s international and regional security, and establishing a firm link with the international security system. Even today, these priorities are principal objectives of the country’s strategic line and external security policy. The list of top priority tasks on the agenda still includes strengthening of Azerbaijan’s defense capabilities, development of its military sector in accordance with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) standards, and utilization of capacities of foreign countries in ensuring its own military security. Conceptualization of Foreign Policy Priorities Conceptual foundations, goals, principles, and main specific features of the foreign policy of Azerbaijan are reflected in its constitution. Article 10 says that the foreign policy of Azerbaijan is based on respect of principles and rules of international law, as well as on the country’s national interests.

Republic of Azerbaijan


Azerbaijan’s military doctrine, adopted on June 8, 2010, by the Milli Majlis (parliament), includes seven basic provisions, with the second one covering international and national security. While the doctrine does not allow deployment of foreign military bases in the country’s territory, nevertheless Azerbaijan reserves the right to permit temporary foreign military presence, if required by national interests. Any international assistance to Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh regime aimed at recognition of the current territorial status will be interpreted by official Baku as an action against Azerbaijan. To create a legal framework of national security policy, a law on national security was passed on June 29, 2004, and the national security concept of Azerbaijan was adopted on May 23, 2007. The national security concept reflects current trends in real and potential threats, including a broad range of security challenges and risks in military areas, their prevention, and neutralization and elimination of their fallout by state and local authorities, armed forces, and other military formations. The key challenges of Azerbaijan’s national security are to put an end to the conflict with Armenia, to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, to restore the state’s sovereign rights across the entire territory of the country, and to secure inviolability of its borders. The main objective is to boost foreign policy activities in order to increase the number of countries and international organizations backing up Azerbaijan’s position. Foreign Policy Mechanism The process of defining and carrying out Azerbaijan’s foreign policy involves the country’s president and his administration, the Milli Majlis, the prime minister, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other central executive power bodies. In Azerbaijan, it is the president who performs the functions of supreme executive authority in the area of foreign policy. Pursuant to the constitution (Article 8), the head of state governs the country’s foreign policy; holds negotiations on behalf of the state; concludes treaties; receives credentials from ambassadors of foreign states; appoints the minister of foreign affairs, the country’s ambassadors, and representatives in foreign countries; submits proposals to the Milli Majlis regarding establishment of embassies and missions; vests certain officials with powers to hold negotiations on behalf of the state and to sign treaties and agreements; among other functions. The president represents the state globally, and in the system of international relations maintains the country’s dayto-day interaction with the rest of the world and other heads of states, and signs important documents, foreign policy statements, declarations, telegrams, and letters.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Foreign policy activities are pursued and coordination of the country’s national security interests is performed by the Security Council, a body under the republic’s president. Jointly with the defense, national security, and interior ministries, and the border security service, the council prepares analytical reports on possible external threats to the country’s interests and drafts proposals regarding measures for their prevention. Another duty of the Security Council is to identify steps that public authority bodies consider necessary in order to mitigate the impact of internal and external threats to the country’s national security, and to make proposals concerning required work and coordination of activities of those bodies. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the main executive body engaged in the state’s foreign policy activities and responsible for pursuing the foreign policy line defined by the country’s leader. That body organizes the country’s day-to-day contacts with the rest of the world, fulfills assignments of the head of state, manages the work of embassies and missions in foreign countries, and makes arrangements to enable activities of foreign embassies and missions accredited in Azerbaijan and to facilitate their contacts with the government. One of the bodies involved in Azerbaijan’s foreign policy activities is the Milli Majlis (National Assembly), the supreme legislative body. According to the constitution, the Milli Majlis is directly vested with the powers to carry out foreign policy activities, mainly in the form of establishment of diplomatic missions, passing laws on diplomatic activities, ratification or denouncement of international treaties concluded with foreign nations, and passing resolutions on the country’s accession to international conventions and agreements (Article 95). Jointly with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Milli Majlis is an actor in the international system. Networking and continued activities in cooperation with legislatures in foreign countries deserve a special mention. The Milli Majlis represents the state in international and regional parliamentary organizations, and takes part in decisionmaking that results in mandatory resolutions for all member nations as well as in the discussion leading to accession to international conventions. The Milli Majlis also participates, in an indirect way, in the country’s foreign policy activities: it approves allocation of funds to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and to missions and embassies abroad; passes laws on foreign policy; gives evaluation to important international events and initiatives; and the like. Besides the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there are other ministries, committees, companies, and entities involved in Azerbaijan’s foreign policy and international relations. Local executive authorities enter into economic, social, cultural, and trade relations with cities, districts, governorates, and regions of neighboring countries and individual foreign

Republic of Azerbaijan


nations; engage in twin-city relations between cities and districts; engage in cross-border and joint trade ties; and the like. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs carries out operational and day-today activities in the area of foreign policy. Through its executive office, and diplomatic missions and embassies functioning in foreign countries, it pursues the country’s foreign relations. The principal functions of the ministry include preparing proposals for the head of state with the aim of working out the country’s foreign policy strategy; day-to-day foreign policy work; protection of the country’s sovereign rights and security, economic, political, and social interests everywhere in the world; protection of rights and interests of Azerbaijan’s citizens; organization of the country’s diplomatic and consular service; and the like. Additionally, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs defines and approves uniform standards and foreign policy vectors in the activities of other public authority bodies. The ministry represents the country both internationally and at home (in contacts with ambassadors and other representatives of foreign countries). Activities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are regulated by the Law on Diplomatic Service, regulations approved by the president, and other legislative acts. Employees of the central office, departments, and consular directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs take part in tackling the tasks assigned to the ministry, within the framework of their respective authorities. Diplomatic service bodies perform a number of functions, such as representation of Azerbaijan in relations with foreign countries and international organizations; promotion of economic, social, scientific, technical, cultural, and other form of cooperation; and making arrangements for negotiations between the republic and foreign countries and for signing international agreements. Of special importance is dissemination of information abroad about Azerbaijan’s domestic and foreign policy, and the country’s social and cultural life; and informing the republic’s public authority bodies and media about Azerbaijan’s international situation and foreign policy. The nation’s favorable economic situation is a factor that has helped Azerbaijan open embassies in many countries across the globe. Since 2004, the number of Azerbaijan’s embassies and diplomatic missions abroad has tripled, rising to seventy-one. They include five missions to international organizations, eight consulates, and three honorary consulates (see Appendix 11). Notably, embassies have been opened in Argentina, Paraguay, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. In the future, the number of these missions will be increased.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

The Nagorno-Karabakh Issue At present, all efforts of Azerbaijani diplomacy are aimed at harnessing international support for the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and solving the issue of the republic’s territorial integrity. In this respect, the country’s foreign policy strategy implies addressing a series of issues. First, the country needs to conduct well-thought-out diplomatic and political work in order to garner support of countries that could be interested in consolidating Azerbaijan’s independence and putting pressure on Armenia to help the republic achieve its claims. Second, the roots of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue are deeply historical; therefore, the information vacuum surrounding this issue must be filled in order to make Azerbaijan’s voice heard in the world. With that purpose, according to the republic’s position the issue is not a confrontation that arose for ethnic reasons or as a result of an ethnic conflict or a violation of human rights; it is an artificial barrier impeding Azerbaijan’s independence. Since mid-1993, after Heydar Aliyev came back to power in the republic, Azerbaijani diplomacy began working vigorously in trying to address those challenges and to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. Since that time, consistent efforts have been made to handle the problem. Under President Ilham Aliyev’s leadership, Azerbaijan is undertaking new diplomatic steps for the restoration of the country’s territorial integrity. As a result, Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity has been recognized by international organizations. The United Nations, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Council of Europe, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), European Union (EU), and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have all reiterated their standpoint in respective documents. The UN is making consistent efforts to eliminate the social repercussions of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. To alleviate the hardships faced by over a million Azerbaijanis who became refugees and forced migrants as a result of the conflict, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and other organizations provided large-scale humanitarian aid to Azerbaijan in the period 1994–2000. Status of the Caspian Sea The problem of determining the status of the Caspian Sea and its division is one of Azerbaijan’s top foreign policy priorities. The Caspian Sea coastline (Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Iran) is 7,000 kilometers long. Azerbaijan advocates division of the seabed and the surface of the Caspian Sea along the median line into five sectors, according to international conventions, and creation of internal national sectors extending up to 25 nautical miles. In that respect, Azerbaijan aligns with Russia and Kazakhstan.

Republic of Azerbaijan


On February 28, 2003, an agreement was signed between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan on delimiting the Caspian seabed, and on May 14, 2003, an agreement was executed between Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia on the junction point of the borders of adjacent sectors of the Caspian seabed. The agreement, which defines water borders of the three countries along the median line, creates conditions for exploitation of oil, gas, and mineral resources inside the national sectors. The biggest controversies on this issue were had with Iran and Turkmenistan. Despite the fact that Azerbaijan’s and Turkmenistan’s approaches were very close, there was a serious disagreement between the two countries—in particular regarding the median line. In connection with Azerbaijan’s inclusion in the Caspian Sea “energy area,” Turkmenistan suggests that the Absheron Peninsula should not be taken into account when the boundary is designated between them. Since there was a controversy between the two countries, the Kapaz and Azeri-Chirag oil fields controlled by Azerbaijan were considered to be disputed. Meetings on the legal status of the Caspian Sea were regularly held between all involved parties. In total, fifty-one meetings of a special working group at the level of deputy ministers of foreign affairs were held in the period 1996–2018, as well as more than ten meetings of foreign ministers and five presidential summits. Finally, on August 12, 2018, in Kazakhstan a convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea was signed. Azerbaijan advocates transforming the entire Caspian region from a “sea of troubles” into an area of peace and good-neighborly cooperation with due account of national interests of each Caspian state.

Foreign Policy Priorities Relations with Russia and the CIS One of principal vectors of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy is the policy of good-neighborly relations with other countries. The republic, which historically has close ties with Russia, has always attached great importance to relations with its northern neighbor. Diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation and Azerbaijan were established on the basis of a protocol signed in Baku on April 4, 1992. In 1992, Russia’s embassy was opened in Azerbaijan, and Azerbaijan’s embassy started its work in Russia. The intention of both countries to promote relations of strategic partnership and comprehensive cooperation is entrenched in the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Security of July 3, 1997. A number of treaties have been signed in the political, economic, humanitarian, and other spheres. At present, the legal framework of relations between the two


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

countries includes about 110 interstate, intergovernmental, and interregional agreements. There is an extensive legislative framework for the development of bilateral trade and economic relations: a free trade agreement of September 30, 1992, and instruments annexed to it; protocols on exceptions to the free trade regime of November 26, 1992, and November 29, 2000; a protocol on a stage-by-stage cancellation of exceptions to the free trade regime of February 6, 2004; an agreement for the avoidance of double taxation with respect to income and capital gains taxes of July 3, 1997; an agreement on principles of imposing indirect taxes in mutual trade of November 29, 2000; and an agreement on basic principles and vectors of economic cooperation of January 21, 2002. Most ethnic Russians living in the South Caucasus live in Azerbaijan, and the names of Russian villages remain the same. Education in 327 high schools and 27 universities of the republic can be received in the Russian and Azerbaijani languages, and 16 schools are Russian-speaking. The number of school and university students studying in the Russian language exceeds 100,000 people. Baku Slavic University is one of the major centers of Russian-language studies in Baku; there is also a branch of Lomonosov Moscow State University in Baku. The Russian Information and Cultural Center works in Azerbaijan.

Cooperation between Russia and Azerbaijan is also pursued in the military and military-technical areas. On February 27, 2003, an agreement on cooperation in this area was signed in Baku; and on December 4, 2006, the two countries signed an intergovernmental agreement on mutual protection of rights acquired as a result of intellectual activities in the course of bilateral military and technical cooperation. Constituent territories of the Russian Federation are engaged in direct relations with Azerbaijan. All of this proves the significance of relations with Russia for Azerbaijan. Both nations Dagestan and Tatarstan, Ural join their efforts within the frameTrade House, Tatarstan Trade work of some international organizaHouse, and Russia’s regional airtions, including the Commonwealth lines (Bashkortostan Airlines, of Independent States (CIS). Perm Airlines, Pulkovo Airlines, On September 15, 2014, govSamara Airlines, Ural Airlines, ernments of the Russian Federation etc.) have their representative and Azerbaijan signed an agreement offices in Baku. Agreements have been signed between Azerbaijan on the creation of an exhibition and and the governments of Moscow trade center of Azerbaijan in the terand the Moscow region, other ritory of the All-Russia Exhibition regions (Leningrad, Astrakhan, Center in Moscow. Saratov, and Sverdlovsk), DagesIt was an important move that tan, Tatarstan, and other areas. after many years of negotiations, the

Republic of Azerbaijan


governments of Russia and Azerbaijan signed an agreement on promotion and mutual protection of investments on September 29, 2014. Moreover, Azerbaijan’s export opportunities were given a boost by the decree of President Ilham Aliyev of May 21, 2016, on the approval of the Rules of Use of the Green Corridor and other systems for clearance of goods and motor vehicles through the customs border, which was The most indicative trend of 2015 was the transition of Russia and intended to increase exports to the Azerbaijan from trade deals to Russian Federation. investment cooperation. The Russian trade mission has been working in Baku since March 2006. An intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation between the Russian Federation and Azerbaijan handles matters of Russian-Azerbaijani trade and economic relations at the state level. Azerbaijan takes part in CIS activities. Those relations are developing successfully, in the form of both bilateral and multilateral cooperation. The republic’s economic ties with other CIS member nations are on the rise, with trade and mutual investments climbing every year. Azerbaijan keeps close cooperation with law enforcement agencies of the CIS countries. Regional Policy and Relations with Georgia, Iran, and Turkey Azerbaijan pays a great deal of attention to regional policy, and initiates large-scale energy, transport, and communication projects, which are implemented thanks to cooperation among Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, and Iran. Azerbaijan pursues a policy of good-neighborly relations with Georgia, with which diplomatic relations were established on November 18, 1992. In February 1995, the Georgian embassy was opened in Baku, and in March 1996 Azerbaijan opened its embassy in Tbilisi. Azerbaijan and Georgia have the following common interests: strengthening independence and expanding international ties; creating a relative political stability in the Caucasus; providing security and safety of the Transcaucasian and Trans-Caspian highways; and building democratic society and a state governed by law. Azerbaijan and Georgia are engaged together in a number of global energy, transport, and communication projects, such as Baku-Supsa, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum, and the Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia (TRACECA).

Concurrently, cooperation and bilateral strategic relations within the framework of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) and other organizations have strengthened even more.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Iran, Azerbaijan’s southern neighbor, recognized Azerbaijan’s independence on December 25, 1991. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on March 12, 1992. Iran opened its Culture Center in Baku in 1993, and the consulate-general of Azerbaijan has been working in Tabriz since October 20, 2004. Azerbaijani-Iranian relations have deep historical roots. Following the conclusion of the 1813 Gulistan and the 1828 Turkmenchay peace treaties between Iran and Russia, Azerbaijan was divided into two parts, with the bigger part annexed to Iran. According to some estimates, over 30 million Azerbaijanis live in Iran at present. Taking all that into account, Azerbaijan intends to develop friendly and brotherly relations with Iran. While the Turkish-Azerbaijani border is only 15 kilometers long, relations with that country are termed as “brotherly” by politicians. Azerbaijani-Turkish diplomatic relations were established and TurAfter Azerbaijan’s independence was restored in 1991, Turkey was key’s diplomatic mission opened in the first to recognize its independAzerbaijan on January 14, 1992; in ence (November 9, 1991). August 1992, Azerbaijan opened its mission in Turkey. The two countries develop cooperation in all areas. The support provided by Turkey to Azerbaijan on the international stage, especially an open expression of its position on the Armenian-Azerbaijani issue and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, helps deepen relations between the two countries. It is not by chance that high-ranking officials of the two countries are willing to promote mutual relations even further. The Turkish vector of foreign policy is important for another reason. Turkey plays the role of a corridor for Azerbaijani oil and gas exports to the European and global markets. After the Nabucco pipeline project was suspended, gas work has been conducted under the TAP (Trans-Adriatic Pipeline) and TANAP (Trans-Anatolian Pipeline) projects. Cooperation with the European Union The geographic situation of Azerbaijan, which is at the border between Europe and Asia, drives the interest of the EU member states in the development of political and economic relations with it. The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement signed between the EU member states and Azerbaijan in Luxembourg on April 22, 1996, took effect on June 22, 1999. The agreement provides for a large-scale cooperation in the area of political dialogue, human rights, trade, investments, economy, legislation, culture, and the like. One of its vectors is harmonization of the legislation of Azerbaijan with EU legislation. In 1998, the EU sent its special envoy to Azerbaijan, and in 2000 Azerbaijan opened a permanent mission to the EU.

Republic of Azerbaijan


The agreement says that the EU-Azerbaijan Cooperation Council shall define the principal vectors of the work (its meetings will be held on an annual basis), and that the Cooperation Committee shall assist the council, providing recommendations. The Trade and Investment Committee functions under the Cooperation Committee and, based on the agreement, makes decisions on trade, investment, and economic relations. In 2004, a committee on energy and transport issues between the EU and Azerbaijan was set up. Energy dialog is one of the main vectors of cooperation between Azerbaijan and the EU. A memorandum of understanding on strategic partnership in the field of energy between Azerbaijan and the EU, signed on November 7, 2006, during a visit of the president of Azerbaijan to Brussels, created a new opportunity for expanding the energy dialog. The principal goal of that memorandum is diversification and security of the EU’s energy supplies, as well as development and upgrade of Azerbaijan’s energy infrastructure, sustainable use of energy, energy saving, and use of renewable energy sources. Since 2009, Azerbaijan has participated in the Eastern Partnership, a European integration program initiated by the European Union for closer rapprochement of the EU with countries of the post-Soviet space. One significant achievement within the framework of the program was simplification of the visa regime between Azerbaijan and Schengen countries. On November 29, 2013, the European Union and Azerbaijan signed an agreement on the facilitation of the issuance of visas on the sidelines of the Vilnius summit of member nations of the EU’s Eastern Partnership program. On February 28, 2014, the EU and Azerbaijan signed a readmission agreement. Since September 2014, in order to apply for a short-term Schengen visa, Azerbaijani citizens require fewer documents, the screening process has been fast-tracked, and the price of visas has been cut by half. The agreement also provides for abolishment of a visa application charge for members of official delegations, children under age twelve, retirees, scientists, and students.

However, the parties failed to reach the primary goal of the Eastern Partnership—signing an association agreement. In the same year, 2014, Azerbaijan renounced a standard association agreement with the European Union, opting for individual strategic cooperation. In addition, relations between Azerbaijan and the EU are also facing some problems mainly regarding interpretation of human rights and freedoms in Azerbaijan. On November 14, 2016, the EU Council issued a mandate to the European Commission and to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Affairs and Security Policy authorizing them to hold negotiations on behalf of the EU and its member nations on a comprehensive agreement with Azerbaijan. The new document, which replaced the 1996 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, is better in addressing common goals and issues that the parties are confronting today, and is more in keeping with the principles approved in the 2015 European Neighborhood Policy document. The agreement creates an updated foundation for a political dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan. Relations with the United States The United States recognized independence of Azerbaijan on December 25, 1991. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on February 28, 1992, and to date over seventy bilateral agreements have been signed. During the first years of independence (1991–1993), Azerbaijan saw a series of governments and a war with Armenia because of NagornoKarabakh, which worsened relations not only with Russia but also with the United States. Under the pressure of a powerful Armenian lobby, the US Congress adopted Amendment 907 to the US Freedom Support Act, which banned direct US aid to Baku. Since 1994, relations with the United States have become closer, spurred by more frequent contacts at different levels; mutual interests have become stronger; and points of further growth have been identified, thanks to the Contract of the Century, signed in September 1994 in Baku. The attitude of US Congress to Azerbaijan started to change in January 1996, when it passed the Wilson Amendment, which authorized the US president to suspend Amendment 907 if he decided that aid provided by nongovernmental organizations to refugees and displaced persons in Azerbaijan was inadequate in a given situation. In the same year, Madeleine Albright, whose nomination to the position of US secretary of state was discussed by Congress, noted it was especially important to lift Amendment 907 as a prerequisite for normal development of relations between the United States and Azerbaijan. There was some hope that the US stance on Nagorno-Karabakh would change and Amendment 907 would be lifted. Until September 2001, during all meetings with US representatives, the Azerbaijani government demanded that Amendment 907 should be lifted, but to no avail. On December 19, 2001, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution authorizing the US president to suspend Amendment 907 with respect to Azerbaijan until the end of 2002. (The proposal was submitted to the Senate in October 2001 and was approved by Congress on November 14, 2001. Every year in January, US presidents suspend the amendment for one more year.)

Republic of Azerbaijan


In 2009, when Barack Obama became president, US criticisms regarding respect of human rights and democratic transformations in Azerbaijan became even harsher. Official Baku viewed those criticisms as interference in its internal affairs. Despite Azerbaijan’s active involvement in measures against proliferation of nuclear weapons, the US president did not invite Azerbaijan’s president to the first Nuclear Security Summit, to be held in Washington, D.C., in 2010. At the same time, the United States kept the position of its ambassador to Azerbaijan vacant for nearly a year, which many experts in Baku regarded as a direct sign of deterioration of bilateral relations. It took Washington over ten months to nominate a new ambassador to the republic. Despite all of these problems, relations between Azerbaijan and the United States are developing. After President Obama invited Azerbaijan’s president to take part in the fourth Nuclear Security Summit, in Washington, D.C. (March 31–April 1, 2016), Robert Cekuta, the US ambassador to Azerbaijan, called that visit “a turning point” in relations between the two states. Cooperation with Asian Countries Mutually beneficial cooperation with major countries of the Far East— China and Japan—is incentivized by Azerbaijan’s involvement in the implementation of the Silk Road project. China’s growing international influence has given impetus to more intensive relations between the two countries. Cooperation with Japan in economic projects, and mutual interest in deeper bilateral ties, pave the way for their expansion. Partnership relations with Pakistan are evolving, and cooperation with India is expanding. The rise of new political and economic power centers in SouthOn February 1, 2012, Pakistan’s Senate recognized events in the east and South Asia encouraged Azerbaijani town of Khojaly as Azerbaijan’s interest in that region. genocide of civilians. Thus PakOn February 12, 2006, Azerbaijan’s istan became the first country to embassy was opened in Jakarta, recognize this fact at the internaIndonesia’s capital city; it was the tional level. republic’s first embassy in Southeast Asia. On December 28, 1991, Indonesia recognized Azerbaijan’s independence, and on September 24, 1992, the two countries established diplomatic relations. Azerbaijan and Indonesia also collaborate within the framework of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Azerbaijan’s relations with Middle Eastern countries also have significant prospects, with trade, technological, and financial opportunities being realized, and mutually beneficial cooperation with countries of that region expanding.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

In 2011, Azerbaijan became the second most important oil supplier for Indonesia, after Saudi Arabia, and in exchange Indonesia became the second biggest importer of Azerbaijani petroleum products (see Appendix 13).

Israel was one of the first states to recognize Azerbaijan’s independence. On April 6, 1992, diplomatic relations were established between the two countries, and in August 1993, Israel opened its embassy in Baku. Israel’s cooperation with Azerbaijan in the military area is of great importance. To settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the republic is upgrading its armed forces. Within the framework of their mutual program, Israel’s military industrial sector supplied to Azerbaijan modern military aircraft and artillery, and antitank and antipersonnel weapons. The energy sector is a top priority in bilateral economic ties because Israel is a major importer of oil from Azerbaijan. Cooperation is also developing in other industries, such as agriculture, high technology, medicine, education, and communications. Political cooperation between Azerbaijan and Persian Gulf nations is evolving at a steady pace. The countries coordinate their actions at the level of international organizations, in particular the UN and the OIC. One important component of the parties’ political dialogue is support provided by Arab countries to Azerbaijan’s position in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Armenia. Special Features of Multilateral Diplomacy Azerbaijani diplomacy is making efforts for further development of cooperation with international and regional organizations. In particular, the country is deepening integration in a number of organizations, such as the UN, OIC, OSCE, NATO, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), and Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova (GUAM) (see Appendix 7). Engagement in the work of international organizations occupies an important place in Azerbaijan’s foreign policy strategy; those efforts are aimed, first, at raising awareness of its standpoint on the NagornoKarabakh conflict in the international community, at reinforcement of its reputation of a participant in global processes, and at resolution of important international issues. After the restoration of its independence, Azerbaijan applied for UN membership, and on March 2, 1992, Azerbaijan became a full-fledged member of the UN. Azerbaijan takes part in the work of UN specialized agencies such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Labour Organization (ILO), and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The UN provides support to Azerbaijan in dealing with refugees and displaced persons through such

Republic of Azerbaijan


agencies as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), FAO, UNESCO, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). From 1995 to 1997 and from 1998 to 2000, Azerbaijan was a member of the UNICEF Executive Council; between 2003 and 2005, it was a member of the UN Economic and Social Council. Supporting international counterterrorism efforts, Azerbaijan passed its Law on the Accession of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. With that aim, on May 2002, Azerbaijan’s president signed an order on implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1368, 1373, and 1377. As a result of vigorous activities within the framework of the UN, as well as its specialized agencies and entities, on October 24, 2011, Azerbaijan obtained support of 155 member states and was elected a nonpermanent member of the UN Security Council for 2012–2013, which it chaired twice—in May 2012 and October 2013—attesting to the high level of Azerbaijan’s diplomacy and a considerable rise of the country’s international influence. In 1991, Azerbaijan was admitted to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (then Organization of the Islamic Conference); it happened at the Dakar summit of heads of states and governments. It was the first international organization of which Azerbaijan became a member. In May 1994, Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia was vested with authority of a permanent representative of the OIC secretary-general. On January 20, 1992, Azerbaijan became a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. In 1992 the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) started its activities in Baku, and in January 2000 the OSCE office was also opened in that city; on January 1, 2014, Azerbaijan’s status was downgraded to that of project coordinator. Azerbaijan is committed to the respect of all principles of the OSCE main document, the Helsinki Final Act. Democratization and human rights are one of the top priority areas of cooperation between Azerbaijan and the OSCE. Signing of a memorandum of understanding and subsequent adoption of a respective resolution by the OSCE Permanent Council in 1999 helped enlarge cooperation between the OSCE and Azerbaijan in the areas of democratization, electoral legislation, monitoring of elections, migration, gender equality, and the like, in a major way. In turn, Azerbaijan’s Milli Majlis collaborates with the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE, and Azerbaijani deputies have taken part in its work. Since 1994, Azerbaijan’s armed forces have been collaborating with NATO within the framework of the Partnership for Peace program, as well as with a number of foreign countries. Azerbaijan’s air force and navy are fully compliant with NATO standards. Within the framework of the


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

alliance, the republic’s military will take part in training and complete foreign-language courses. Every year, under the Individual Cooperation Program, over a thousand people take part in training and education in various sectors of the military. On November 19, 2002, Azerbaijan was admitted as an associate member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. In 2005 a two-year Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) was signed with NATO, and in 2007 a second document was executed, which remained in force until 2010. In July 2006, Azerbaijan and NATO officially inaugurated a Euro-Atlantic Center, the main center of information on NATO, in Baku. Azerbaijan’s president took part in two NATO summits—in Chicago (2012) and Wales (2014). At the same time, official Baku never declared its intention to join the alliance. Azerbaijan is a member of GUAM, which is carrying out joint projects on trade and transportation facilitation; establishment of a GUAM virtual center for fighting terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking, and other dangerous types of crime; and interstate information management system. The trade and transportation facilitation project is aimed at expansion and intensification of trade and transport relations between GUAM countries, while the virtual center fosters development of trade and transport, effective and safe operation, and using information exchange and other prompt measures. Azerbaijan is also an active participant of the Non-Aligned Movement, and its membership plays an important role in consolidation of the republic’s geopolitical positions. This is attested by the fact that official Baku was invited to Mexico to an event hosted by Group of 20 (G20) nations in February 2012, and by the country’s attendance of a nuclear security summit in the same year in Seoul, South Korea. Moreover, Azerbaijan also hosts international events at home. From April 7 to 9, 2011, Baku hosted the first World Forum on Intercultural Dialog, organized by the government of Azerbaijan jointly with the UNESCO, UN Alliance of Civilizations, Council of Europe, North-South Center, and Islamic Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ISESCO). The principal mission of the forum was to establish intercultural understanding and cooperation between various civilizations through culture. World leaders and prominent public figures, ministers of culture and culture experts, representatives of noncommercial organizations, and artists attended the forum. Since 2011, the event has been hosted by Baku every other year. Azerbaijan is also an initiator of the International Humanitarian Forum. In 2009, Baku became the “Capital of Islamic Culture.” A resolution to that Since 1999, Azerbaijani military units have been taking part in NATO peacekeeping operations in Kosovo. In 2002 Azerbaijan dispatched a peacekeeping contingent (33 people) to Afghanistan, and in March 2003 to Iraq (150 military personnel).

Republic of Azerbaijan


effect was passed at the fifth Islamic Conference of Ministers of Culture of OIC member nations in November 2007. In 2012 Baku hosted the Eurovision Song Contest, and in 2015 the city was the venue of the first European Games. Economic Diplomacy Within the framework of the concept “Azerbaijan-2020: Outlook for the Future,” economic diplomacy of Azerbaijan is aimed at improving the competitive edge of its national economy and boosting the country’s integration into the global economic system, as well as diversifying its economy and protecting the right of domestic exporters in international markets. Special Features of Azerbaijan’s Foreign Economic Cooperation In 2014, the total trade of Azerbaijan with foreign countries was $31 billion, with imports equal to $9 billion and exports to $22 billion. The country had a surplus on the trade balance with 150 countries, with the total surplus amounting to $13 billion (see Table 3.1). From 1995 to 2013, $84 billion worth of foreign investment was brought into Azerbaijan’s economy, with the nonoil sector accounting for $35 billion. The biggest foreign investors in the nonoil sector were Turkey (26 percent), the United Kingdom (16 percent), and the United States (12 percent). The United Kingdom channeled $18 billion into fixed assets, the United States allocated $7 billion, and Japan contributed $4 billion. Table 3.1 Foreign Trade of Azerbaijan, 2014 ($ millions) Trade Country Italy Germany Indonesia Russia Israel Turkey France United States United Kingdom Thailand Spain India China Czech Republic Georgia

Trade Volume



5,078.26 2,629.20 2,045.07 1,954.75 1,790.91 1,789.13 1,680.84 1,309.25 1,104.79 869.81 833.05 815.20 760.95 637.97 623.44

4,805.62 1,925.56 2,012.32 640.27 1,766.95 502.49 1,523.48 745.83 126.45 839.91 783.67 778.25 63.87 592.04 529.55

272.64 703.64 32.75 1,314.48 23.96 1,286.64 157.36 563.42 978.34 29.9 49.38 36.95 697.08 45.93 93.89

Source: State Statistics Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

In 2014, Azerbaijan’s biggest trade partners were countries of the EU, OIC, CIS, and GUAM. CIS states were the republic’s main partners in the nonoil export (42 percent). (See data on trade in 2015 in Appendix 13.) In 2014, Azerbaijan’s trade volume with European Union nations was $14.6 billion, of which imports amounted to $3.1 billion and exports to $11.6 billion. In 2014, European Union nations accounted for 47 percent of total trade of Azerbaijan, with imports going as high as 34 percent and exports 53 percent. Compared to 2013, exports to European Union countries climbed by 0.47 percent in 2014. In 2014, trade of Azerbaijan with OIC countries amounted to $5.6 billion, including $1.8 billion worth of imports and $3.8 billion worth of exports (mainly oil export to Indonesia), and the surplus on the trade balance was $1.9 billion. OIC countries accounted for 18.1 percent of aggregate trade of Azerbaijan. In 2014, the trade volume of Azerbaijan with CIS countries totaled $2.9 billion, including $2.1 billion of imports and $838 million of exports. CIS countries accounted for 9.4 percent of the total trade volume of Azerbaijan, or for 22.7 percent of imports and 3.8 percent of exports. In 2014, Azerbaijan’s trade with GUAM member nations was $1.1 billion (3.5 percent). Energy Diplomacy and the Contract of the Century Priorities of Azerbaijan’s economic diplomacy include export of energy resources from the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea to global markets, fostering the country’s development, and boosting the nonoil sector using the funds generated from sales of oil, gas, and other products of the oil and gas industry. On September 20, 1994, an agreement was signed at the Gulustan Palace in Baku; by virtue of its colossal significance, the document was dubbed the Contract of the Century. It provided the groundwork for the production sharing with respect to the deep-water oil fields Azeri, Chirag, and Gunashli. Thirteen companies took part in the Contract of the Century (Amoco, BP, McDermott, Unocal, SOCAR, Lukoil, Statoil, Exxon, TPAO, Pennzoil, Itochu, Remco, and Delta) from eight countries (Azerbaijan, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Turkey, Norway, Japan, and Saudi Arabia). The agreement paved the way to the signing of twenty-seven more agreements with forty-one oil companies from nineteen countries.

As a result of that contract, Azerbaijan can export its oil resources to the global market. Since the inception of the Contract of the Century, the republic’s economy has seen a breakthrough transformation. In 1995,

Republic of Azerbaijan


within the framework of a project of primary oil recovery, the Chirag-1 platform was renovated in accordance with international standards. In 1999, the first two tankers shipped Azerbaijani oil to global markets. The money generated from that sale was contributed to the State Oil Fund. In the same year, at the OSCE Istanbul summit, presidents of the United States, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan signed an interstate agreement on the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan trunk export oil pipeline. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, named after Heydar Aliyev, is designed to transmit Caspian (at present, Azerbaijani) oil to the Turkish port of Ceyhan (in the Mediterranean Sea); it was opened on July 13, 2006. The pipeline’s shareholders are BP (30.1 percent); the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (25 percent); US companies Unocal (8.9 percent), ConocoPhillips (2.5 percent), and Amerada Hess (2.4 percent); Norway’s Statoil (8.7 percent); Turkey’s TPAO (6.5 percent); Italy’s Eni (5 percent); France’s Total (5 percent); Japan’s Itochu (3.4 percent); and INPEX (2.5 percent). The oil pipeline is 1,768 kilometers long; it runs through the territory of Azerbaijan (443 kilometers), Georgia (249 kilometers), and Turkey (the remaining section). The throughput is 1.2 million barrels per day.

A trunk export oil pipeline is important not just in terms of its engineering and economic significance; it has a political meaning as well, because it gives impetus to building new relations between Azerbaijan and the rest of the world and helps reinforce and expand Azerbaijan’s foreign policy. On June 26, 2012, an agreement on the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) was signed in Istanbul. WTO Membership Azerbaijan attaches a great importance to the accession to the World Trade Organization. To achieve that goal, on June 23, 1997, it submitted its membership application to the WTO Secretariat. Since then, thirteen joint meetings have been held, with the most recent taking place on July 22, 2016, in Geneva. Azerbaijan wants to become a WTO member and thus accelerate its integration into the global economic system to make use of the benefits granted by WTO member nations to each other; to increase inflow of foreign investments; and to obtain access to WTO conflict settlement mechanisms. Azerbaijan’s government is facing a task of creating a diversified market economy, which would improve the country’s competitive edge and decrease its vulnerability considering its dependence on the oil and gas sector. Since it has no direct access to the world’s oceans, Azerbaijan views its accession to the WTO and its future membership in that international


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

In Azerbaijan’s bilateral negotiations with twenty-one states, market access for its goods and services is discussed, and measures are undertaken to protect individual segments that have a special significance. The first protocol was signed with Turkey in 2007, another with Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2008, a third with Georgia in 2010, and a fourth with Kyrgyzstan in March 2012. In 2016, bilateral negotiations were held with Russia and Saudi Arabia in Geneva.

organization as a favorable opportunity for the achievement of its economic policy goals. Over the past few years, Azerbaijan’s government has taken a series of important measures aimed at bringing national legislation in line with requirements of WTO agreements. Relations with the Azerbaijani Diaspora At present, there are about 300 Azerbaijani communities and associations across the globe, and the diaspora’s evolution in terms of its organization is still ongoing today. Azerbaijani societies and associations that have existed independently from one another have started to create federations. A few examples are the All-Russian Congress of Azerbaijanis, the Congress of Azerbaijanis of Ukraine, the Federal National and Cultural Autonomy of Azerbaijanis in Russia, the Federation of Azerbaijani Societies in Germany, the SwedishAzerbaijani Federation, Turan (a congress of Azerbaijanis in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan), and Azeri (a nongovernmental organization working in Kyrgyzstan). Those societies and associations have managed to establish relationships of friendship and cooperation between the countries where they work and Azerbaijan, to organize fellow citizens abroad to strengthen their ties with the historical homeland. To make the Azerbaijani diaspora a more organized force, the State Committee for Work with Diaspora continues to promote creation of new communities and associations. As a result, the Congress of Azerbaijani Communities of Belarus, the Congress of Azerbaijanis of Moldova, the Association of Azerbaijani Cultural Centers of Uzbekistan, and the AzerbaijanNorway Association were set up. Those federations do their best to organize the Azerbaijani diaspora and to intensify their activities, and are making every effort to fulfill their commitments. Around forty new Azerbaijani communities have been set up in Europe, North America, the CIS, and in other regions (with countries including Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Norway, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, Estonia, Poland, the United Arab Emirates, the Arab Republic of Egypt, Turkey, and the United States). Establishment of new Azerbaijani communities and associations

Republic of Azerbaijan


should be regarded as a success of the efforts aimed at consolidation of the Azerbaijani diaspora.1 1. “Azerbaijani Diaspora,” Azerbaijan portal, Heydar Aliyev Foundation,


Abbasbeyli, A., and A. Gasanov. Azerbaijan in the System of International and Regional Organizations. Baku: AGI, 1999. Aliyev, I. Azerbaijan’s Caspian Oil. Moscow: Izvestia, 2003. Chernyavsky, S. I. Azerbaijan’s New Way. Moscow: Azer-Media, 2002. Gasanov, A. Azerbaijan’s International Relations and Foreign Policy Today. 2nd ed., enlarged. Baku: Zerdabi LTD MMC, 2013. Imanov, N. M. Azerbaijan’s Rating in International Comparative Studies. Baku: Caucasus Publishing House, 2006. Makhmudov, Ya. M. Azerbaijan: A Short History of Statehood. Baku: Tehsil, 2005. Makhmudov, Ya. M., and K. Shukyurov. Azerbaijan: International Relations and History of Diplomacy—International Treaties and Other Foreign Policy Acts. Vol. 1. Baku: Abbasqulu Bakikhanov Institute of History, 2009. Mamedzade, N. Relations of the Republic of Azerbaijan with Slavic Countries of the CIS and Eastern Europe. Baku: Qanun, 2006. Mir-Babayev, M. A Short History of Azerbaijan’s Oil. Baku: Azernashr, 2009. Shakirzade, N. The Commonwealth of Independent States: The Republic of Azerbaijan in Foreign Policy and Foreign Economic Processes. Baku: Sada, 2007.

Suggested Readings

4 Republic of Belarus

Foreign Policy Determinants1 In terms of its territory (207,600 square kilometers), Belarus is ranked sixth largest among Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries (after Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) and thirteenth largest among European nations. In Europe, by that indicator, it is slightly inferior only to the United Kingdom and Romania, but it is more than 2.2 times bigger than Portugal and Hungary and nearly five times as big as the Netherlands and Denmark. By European standards, Belarus can be regarded as an average country in terms of its territory and the size of its population. The republic is situated in the center of Europe, at the crossing of the most important trade and communication systems, between economically developed West European nations and the Eurasian region with its abundant natural resources; it borders on CIS countries (Russia in the east and northeast, Ukraine in the south) and European Union nations (Poland in the west, In 2004, a major expansion of the Lithuania and Latvia in the northEuropean Union occurred. Three west), with which it has 1,500 kiloformer Soviet republics (Latvia, meters of common frontiers (since Lithuania, Estonia), Slovenia, a former Yugoslavian republic, two 2004). Mediterranean islands (Cyprus According to a history textbook and Malta), as well as countries by M. E. Chasnouski: “At the turn of of Central and Eastern Europe the twenty-first century, the country, (Hungary, Poland, Czech Repubas had happened more than once in lic, and Slovakia) joined the the past, found itself between two group. centers of power: The European Geopolitical Situation



Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Union that reached its borders after the biggest expansion in its history in May 2004, and the Russian Federation, which wanted to enlarge its influence in former Soviet republics. In a new geopolitical context, the republic was facing an unenviable prospect of becoming a buffer state, a barrier between the world’s major players. Its western border could turn into a new Europe’s division line.”2 It was in the territory of present-day Belarus that interests of great powers clashed over centuries. In the past 300 years alone, the Great Northern War (1700–1721), the Patriotic War of 1812, and World Wars I and II caused enormous casualties and destruction. In that respect, a serious challenge arose: to prevent disruption of established connections and emergence of new division lines in Europe, and instead to reinforce the policy of good-neighborly relations and mutually beneficial cooperation, using the central position of Belarus in Europe. Pan-European transport corridors make up a system of motor and railways in Central and Eastern Europe. There are ten prospective routes (corridors), which were identified in March 1994 at the second Pan-European Transport Conference, in Crete (additions were made at the third conference, in Helsinki in 1997).

The republic is at the crossing of pan-European transport corridors, two of which run across the country’s territory. Transport and communication corridors support international contacts of Belarus with Baltic nations, Poland, Ukraine, and Russia, and at the same time link Russia with East and West European countries, and Ukraine and Moldova with Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Russia’s northwestern regions. The shortest routes to Europe lie via Belarus for other CIS countries: Kazakhstan and other Central Asian nations. From north to south, the republic is crossed by important transport routes, which help in maintaining economic and political ties with Baltic countries and Ukraine; a section of a transcontinental railway, which goes through all Eurasia, from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean, runs across the republic. Friendship, a transit oil pipeline, and the Yamal-Europe trunk gas pipeline, run via the territory of Belarus; the country also has a network of oil product pipelines linked to Russian product pipelines and having access to western Ukraine and the Latvian port Ventspils. Belarus is a landlocked country that has no direct access to the sea. This weakness is offset to a certain extent by a well-developed intraregional river system and by an active use of seaports of neighboring countries (Kaliningrad, Gdansk, Ventspils, Klaipeda), which are situated 250 to 300 kilometers from the Belarusian border. The president of Belarus has spoken more than once about Belarus’s geopolitical and civilization choice.

Republic of Belarus


Speaking at the Fourth All-Belarusian Assembly on December 6, 2010, Alexander Lukashenko remarked, in particular: “We understand the status of a ‘crossroads’—which Belarus holds, geopolitically speaking—as a connecting link, as an artery between the West and the East. Not like a barrier, a buffer or a sanitary border and by no means an open house. We have no intention of ‘choosing’ between the European Union and Russia. It would not be wise or right. We are not ‘moving towards’ East or West. We have got our own special place in Europe, a place given to our people by God, and we have got our own geopolitical identity and national interests. The most important thing is to secure balanced cooperation with everyone, to form a good neighborhood belt along our borders.”3

As of January 1, 2015, the population of Belarus was nearly 9.5 million people.4 By that parameter, the country is ranked fifth largest among CIS countries (after the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan) and fourteenth in Europe (ahead of Austria, Bulgaria, and Sweden). Belarus has a bigger population than all the three Baltic countries put together, and twice as big as that of Finland or Denmark. In terms of numbers, Belarus has the same population as Belgium, Greece, Portugal, the Czech Republic, and Serbia. The average population density in the country is 45.6 people per square kilometer—like in Ireland or Bosnia and Herzegovina; its population density is slightly smaller than that in Lithuania, and two to two and a half smaller than in countries of Central and Eastern Europe (Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia). The main peculiarity of the population structure in Belarus is its constant increased ageing relative to growth of the replacement population. According to the most recent census, the proportion of people over age sixty-five exceeds 13 percent. The dependency ratio is growing every year (there are 1,600 retirees per 1,000 employable citizens). All this requires considerable spending on pensions, improvement of medical care, and the like. In terms of the Human Development Index (HDI), the republic is improving its ranking consistently. In 2015, it was ranked 50th among 187 countries. Demographic, Ethnic, and Religious Situation

The Human Development Index is a summary measure of average achievement in key dimensions of human development (life expectancy at birth, level of literacy, and expected years of schooling are assessed, as well as gross national income per capita). It is measured every year by the United Nations Development Programme.

The religious factor is becoming increasingly significant for the geopolitical situation of Belarus. A special role in building its political space


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

belongs to the Orthodox Church, which plays a crucial role in the Orthodox Christian world. According to 2010 data, 59 percent of the population call themselves believers; out of them, 83 percent belong to the Russian Orthodox Church (Belarusian Patriarchate); 12 percent claim to be Roman Catholics; 4 percent consider themselves Hindu, Muslim, or of the Baha’i faith; and 2 percent are affiliated with Protestant denominations. About 18 percent of Orthodox Christians and 50 percent of Roman Catholics go to church on a regular basis. According to data of the Roman Catholic Church, there are about 1.4 million believers of that denomination in the republic (about 16 percent of the country’s population).5 Ethnically, Belarus is relatively homogeneous. According to the 2009 census, the titular ethnic group comprised 83.7 percent of the population, Russians 8.3 percent, Poles 3.1 percent, Ukrainians 1.7 percent, Jews 0.75 percent, Tatars 0.08 percent, and Lithuanians 0.05 percent. National minorities are dispersed across the entire territory of the republic, but mainly they live in cities and towns. Poles, Lithuanians, and Tatars have communities in western and northwestern regions, including in rural areas. Most people who belong to ethnic minorities moved to the Belarusian territory in the twentieth century, mainly after 1944. At the same time, Poles, Jews, Lithuanians, Russians, and Gypsies have lived on those lands for many centuries; alongside Belarusians, they are also indigenous ethnic groups. Interethnic accord in Belarusian society can be explained to a large extent by historical traditions of peaceful interethnic interaction, with solid long-term ties between ethnic groups across the republic’s territory.6 Most of the country’s territory lies on plains, and the climate is moderately continental. Natural water resources are quite sufficient to meet both today’s and future needs. Compared to West European countries, the republic has bigger forestlands and wetlands. Moreover, availability of agricultural lands, including arable lands, per capita (0.92 hectares and 0.56 hectares, respectively), is one and a half to two times higher than similar figures in European countries. That trend is likely to stay in the future. As a result of the Chernobyl disaster, 1.3 million hectares of agricultural lands and 1.6 million hectares of forestlands were contaminated with radiation. However, safety controls are expected to cut the area of contaminated lands to 30,000 square kilometers (15 percent of the entire territory) by 2020. Every year, the country’s natural deposits produce 1.8 million tons of oil, 28 million tons of potassium salt, 1 million tons of mineral salt, 3.8 million tons of dolomite, 40,000 tons of sapropels, 700,000 tons of molding sands, 3.6 million cubic meters of building stone, 19 million cubic meters Natural Resources and Economic Potential

Republic of Belarus


of building sands and sand-and-gravel materials, 3.4 million cubic meters of argillaceous raw material for the production of bricks and lightweight aggregates, and 0.14 million tons of glassmaking sands. The most valuable mineral resources are potassium salt and mineral salt; their commercial reserves amount to 6.9 and 22 billion tons, respectively, and are virtually inexhaustible. The country is well provided with construction materials and has sufficient forest resources. Timber resources per capita equal 130.4 cubic meters, which is 2.2 times as high as the average European level.7 At the same time, while the country has some oil, associated gas, peat, and brown coal reserves, it lacks raw materials to meet its needs in fuel resources. Oil output in the country covers only 12 to 13 percent of its overall needs, and that correlation is unlikely to change anytime soon. Dependence on foreign energy supplies is a vulnerability of the Belarusian economy. Belarus is an export-focused country with well-developed industry, service sector, and agriculture. Its main economy sectors are machinebuilding, chemical production, fuel and energy, services, agribusiness, and others. Essential Belarusian goods are Key enterprises are the Minsk road and construction machinery, automobile plant and the Belarusian trucks, tractors and agricultural automobile plant (Zhodzina); their machinery, refrigerators and home products account for one-third of appliances, fertilizers, flax fiber, the global market of dump trucks, chemical fibers and threads, and so the country is ranked among the meat and dairy products. world’s leading manufacturers of mining equipment. The republic is also a large producer of agricultural machinery, such as tractors, combine harvesters, and various types of forage harvesters and units. Belshina is Europe’s biggest tire manufacturer. The country’s largest producers of mineral fertilizers are Belaruskali and Grodno Azot. Belaruskali accounts for 16 percent of the global potassium market. Up to 90 percent of its produce is exported to Europe, East Asia, Mediterranean nations, South Africa, India, China, and South and North America—in total to eighty-nine countries worldwide. The oil-processing industry is represented by Naftan (Navapolatsk) and Mozyr Oil Refinery. Those are advanced enterprises manufacturing highquality oil products, which are supplied to central and northwestern European countries. About 85 percent of the energy resources involved in the country’s economy are imported. The electric power industry is the core of the fuel and energy sector. In a short while, nuclear energy will become a significant component of the energy sector.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

The country has a strong scientific and technological potential. Research and development are carried out by over 300 scientific institutions, universities, and large indusSince 2011, Atomstroyexport, a trial enterprises. The bulk of Russian contractor, has been research and development is perbuilding the Belarusian nuclear formed in the natural sciences power plant near Astravyets, (mathematics, physics, chemistry, Grodno region. The first unit of biology) and the technical scithe plant will be commissioned ences. The potential of medical into operation in 2019, and the and agricultural sciences is also second in 2020. considerable. It is possible to achieve stable socioeconomic development of Belarus only with more vigorous innovative activities. The concept of a national innovation system attaches great importance to the development of international scientific and technical cooperation, to the promotion of national achievements in the international market, and, most of all, to the participation in joint research and innovation projects. The most effective mechanism will be to further build a common science and technology space of Belarus and the Russian Federation with inclusion in the common European Research Area; its prospects open up before the republic through a rather wide involvement in programs and projects of international organizations. The military potential Republic of Belarus is estimated to be one of the strongest in Eastern Europe. Military spending amounted to $965 million, or 1.3 percent of gross national product (GNP), in 2013.8 The foundation of the military-strategic potential is aviation equipment, air defense equipment, equipment used for radio warfare and communications, armored vehicles, and engineering equipment. The armed forces comprise 59,500 people: over 46,000 military and about 13,000 civilian personnel.9 After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Belarusian army was one of the best in the post-Soviet space. The annual draft base is around 52,000 people, and trained reserves are about 290,000 people. Military-Political Potential

The most battle-ready element of the Belarusian armed forces are task forces set up in 2007 on the basis of airborne forces; they are high-mobility rapid reaction units numbering 6,000 people. They include mobile brigades, and a special operations brigade.10

Republic of Belarus


The republic is ranked sixteenth among the world’s fiftieth biggest suppliers of principal kinds of conventional weapons, which is evidence of the high competence of the Belarusian military and industrial complex. Priority is given to the development of robotics, systems of integrated precisionweapon countermeasures, control and communications, and fire and combat systems of special operations and ground forces. The most promising area in the operations of the country’s military and industrial complex is development of unmanned aircrafts. Between 2011 and 2015, within the framework of the state scientific and technical program on multifunctional unmanned aerial vehicles and their production technologies, the State Military Industrial Committee in association with the National Academy of Sciences created new samples of unmanned aerial vehicles of various types and purposes, and now over 70 percent of those products are exported to the international market. The country has managed to overcome a situation when redundant (for the armed forces) Soviet machinery and equipment dominated the export structure. Now nearly 90 percent of exported weapons and services are Belarusian. At present, the republic has military-technical relations with sixty countries worldwide. Within the framework of military-technical cooperation, over forty bilateral agreements are in effect. Conceptual Framework and Mechanisms of Foreign Policy Development and adoption of the constitutional and legal framework of foreign policy of the Belarusian state began as far back as during the Perestroika years. On July 27, 1990, the Supreme Council of the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic passed a declaration of state sovereignty. The document declared “full state sovereignty of the Republic of Belarus as the supremacy, the independence, and the absolute state power of the Republic within its territory, the competence of its laws, the independence of the Republic in foreign relations.” Article 10 of the declaration stated the mission of making Belorussia a nuclear-free zone and a neutral state,11 and that mission was afterward reiterated in all official documents on foreign policy. Foreign Policy Timeline12

After the country became independent, it did not have a scientifically founded and politically prudent foreign policy concept. Drafting and adoption of that concept were discussed in a public debate. According to the timeline universally adopted in Belarusian academic literature, the history of foreign policy of Belarus can be divided into two stages. The first stage occurred from 1991 to 1994, when the country was


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

a parliamentary republic, and the second began in July 1994, after the election of Alexander Lukashenko as the first president of Belarus. The presidential period in the foreign policy history of the sovereign republic can also be divided into two stages: first, 1994–1999, the five years of an “active integration policy” with Russia; and second, implementation of a “multifaceted policy,” beginning in 2000. One of key priorities in the country’s policy in 1994 was a line toward political, economic, and military integration with Russia. On February 21, 1995, the Belarusian-Russian Treaty on Friendship, Good Neighborly Relations, and Cooperation was signed. On January 1, 1995, the Russian Federation and Belarus established the Customs Union (quite soon, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan also joined it). On April 2, 1996, they entered into the Treaty on the Formation of an Association, and on April 2, 1997, they transformed it into a union of Belarus and Russia. On December 8, 1999, presidents of the two countries signed the Treaty on the Establishment of a Union State in Moscow. In the early 2000s, the foreign policy of Belarus was revised once again. It was done in response to the focus on “pragmatism” in bilateral relations proposed by Russia’s new leadership. After the so-called gas conflict in February 2004, the Belarusian leadership set out to diversify energy supplies and sales markets for Belarusian goods, and to improve relations with European Union (EU) countries, first Germany. Implementation of the multifaceted principle was also reflected in the country’s willingness to expand its economic foothold in new regions across the globe. Mutually beneficial ties were established with Asian, African, and Latin American countries—first with China, India, Vietnam, Venezuela, and Brazil. Conceptualization of Foreign Policy Priorities13

Approval of a foreign policy concept was raised for the first time as an issue at the sixth session of the Supreme Council of the republic on October 2, 1991, but no document was adopted at the time. At the forty-sixth session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in October 1991, Piotr Kravchenko, then minister of foreign affairs of Belarus, identified the basic priorities of the country’s foreign policy: (1) achievement of real independence and sovereignty; (2) interaction with other republics of the Soviet Union in creating a uniform economic space and a new union of sovereign states; (3) summoning international support in addressing the Chernobyl fallout; (4) turning Belarus into a nuclear-free and neutral state; (5) inclusion of the republic into the general European process; (6) creating conditions for building a market economy; (7) environmental safety and security; and (8) free interaction of cultures.14

Republic of Belarus


Kravchenko’s speech can be considered the first statement of conceptual foundations and basic vectors of the country’s foreign policy as the nation was acquiring full independence. Many of those initiatives became a reality shortly. In 1992, in accordance with international arrangements, tactical nuclear weapons were pulled out of the republic, and in November 1996 withdrawal of strategic nuclear missiles was completed. In late 1992, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus prepared a concept of foreign policy activities (in the Belarusian and Russian languages). The document included three principal sections: the new geopolitical environment, the republic’s situation, and its place in the system of international relations. While experts considered the document to be carefully worded and well grounded, free from ideological clichés and inspired by the idea of serving the country’s national and state interests, it did not get backing at a meeting of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of Belarus and was returned for rework. Another attempt to draft a foreign policy concept was made in 1995 by Myechyslaw Hryb, then chairman of the Supreme Council of Belarus. He proposed adoption of a uniform law on basic vectors of foreign policy and foreign economic activities of the republic, which would be designed to embody strategic prerequisites of the country’s international activities and a uniform mechanism of its implementation. According to Hryb, the main drivers of the concept were to be national interests and national security, and its principal elements were to become political, economic, and humanitarian diplomacy in their close interaction.15 But that attempt did not bear fruit either. In 1997, a draft concept developed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was submitted to the presidential administration. The document was to be adopted at a meeting of the Security Council, but it did not happen. After he was elected president in July 1994, Alexander Lukashenko declared the principle of a multifaceted and well-balanced policy as the essential model of foreign policy. For the first time, that idea was expressed in the president’s speech at the first All-Belarusian Assembly on October 19, 1996, where the president remarked: “In view of our geopolitical situation, only a multifaceted and well-balanced foreign policy can be effective. It proposes, first of all, keeping up good relations with neighboring countries.”16 A special role in the formulation of foreign policy foundations and their translation into practice belongs to the president of Belarus. The most essential sources in that respect are statements made by the head of state on foreign policy issues: President Lukashenko’s addresses to the Belarusian people and the National Assembly, speeches at all-Belarusian people’s assemblies, interviews with major media, and other speaking appearances.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Legal Framework of Foreign Policy17

Since the country became a presidential republic, the legal framework of the Belarusian state’s foreign policy is composed of the constitution of Belarus, adopted on March 15, 1994; the national security concept as approved by a decree of the president on November 9, 2010; the military doctrine of November 14, 2005; the document On the Approval of Principal Vectors of Domestic and Foreign Policy of the Republic of Belarus (see Appendix 6); and other documents of public authority bodies. The constitution includes a number of provisions that characterize the foundations of foreign policy of the Belarusian state and its goals, objectives, and principles. In accordance with Article 8, Belarus “shall recognize the supremacy of the universally acknowledged principles of international law and ensure that its laws comply with such principles. The Republic of Belarus in conformity with principles of international law may join interstate formations and withdraw from them on a voluntary basis. Conclusion of international treaties that are contrary to the Constitution shall not be permitted.” However, rules of international law cannot prevail over the norms of the constitution, which takes precedence over all legislative acts in the country’s territory. The provision that the republic has the right to join interstate entities and withdraw from them was included in the constitution as a result of amendments adopted at a constitutional referendum on November 24, 1996. Belarusian literature on constitutional law gives no explanation why it was necessary to amend Article 8. Obviously, the move was linked to the beginning of an integration process between Belarus and the Russian Federation, and to the Belarusian leaders’ intention to enter into an interstate association with Russia. Article 18 of the fundamental law deals with foreign policy. It says that in its foreign policy the republic shall proceed from the principles of equality of states, nonuse of force or threat of force, inviolability of frontiers, peaceful settlement of disputes, and noninterference in internal affairs of states. Those constitutional principles were further clarified and developed in Chapter 2 of the November 14, 2005, law On the Approval of Principal Vectors of Domestic and Foreign Policy of the Republic of Belarus.18 In the opinion of some experts, that legislative act was conceived as a political and legal document of a higher level than a foreign policy concept; however, to a large extent, it reiterated provisions of the constitution, as a result of which its contents were too general and declarative. Chapter 2 never mentions states, regions, international organizations, or other subjects of international relations. The document never refers to constitutional provisions about the country’s nuclear-free and neutral status. The text of the law identifies foreign policy priorities in a somewhat nonstandard way. First

Republic of Belarus


emphasis is given to foreign economic activities and international economic cooperation, then cooperation in space. Some classical areas of foreign policy, such as relations with foreign states and international organizations, are not mentioned at all.19 Military Doctrine and National Security Concept20

On February 26, 2002, the military doctrine of Belarus took effect. It constitutes “a set of official fundamental views and principles of the state’s military security to be ensured through the use of political and military measures.”21 The doctrine specifies principal vectors of military policy of the Belarusian state and its attitude to military conflicts and their prevention, military construction, and use of military force, and points out that the doctrine is of a purely defensive nature. The republic proceeds from the assumption that “none of the states is currently its potential adversary, and it regards its security as a state of national interests being protected amidst transformation of a war danger into military threats to the state.” Additionally, the doctrine describes the nature of today’s military conflicts, missions, and possible uses of armed forces, other troops, and military units; however, the issue of the country’s neutral status, toward which it should aspire in accordance with the constitution, was omitted. No doubt, the military doctrine is one of the most important documents defining the foundations of national security. A new concept of national security in November 2010 called for the adoption of a new military doctrine, which took place in July 2016. Special focus is now given to prevention of internal armed conflicts with a large-scale and integrated use of military force, and to information-communication and information-psychological methods and technologies. In that connection, a new military doctrine of the Union State is required to replace the one in effect since 2001. On November 9, 2010, a presidential decree approved a new version of the national security concept of Belarus, whereby the country is pronounced to be “a mature, independent, sovereign European state, which does not belong to any of the global centers of power, pursues peaceful foreign policy and wants to create conditions for acquiring a neutral status.”22 The role and the place of Belarus amid globalizing international relations have been defined. For the first time since the adoption of the 1994 constitution, an official document referred to the country’s aspiration to become a neutral state. Unlike previous documents of that kind, the national security concept describes the country’s situation at this stage in time: impossibility of guaranteed supply of raw materials and energy resources; loss of international markets; insufficient volumes and low quality of foreign investments; weakening integration structures and international organizations of which


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Belarus is a member (the Union State, the Eurasian Economic Community [EurAsEC], the Collective Security Treaty Organization [CSTO], and CIS at large); and the country’s discrimination within the framework of international unions and entities. Foreign Policy Process Between 1991 and 199423

From September 1991 to June 1994, the Supreme Council and the Council of Ministers of Belarus played a major role in the development, making, and implementation of foreign policy decisions. In accordance with legislative rules of that time, the Supreme Council (parliament) defined the principal vectors of foreign policy, and could declare war and make peace. Only the Supreme Council was authorized to ratify and denounce international treaties. The head of parliament (chairman of the Supreme Council) represented the Belarusian state on the international stage and was vested with powers to hold negotiations and to sign international treaties on behalf of Belarus. The Council of Ministers (government) carried out activities in the area of foreign relations. Formally, the significance of the head of government (chairman of the Council of Ministers), insofar as formulation of foreign policy was concerned, was less than the importance of the chairman of the Supreme Council, but his real influence on the country’s foreign policy was quite large. Roles of the President, Security Council, and Council of Ministers24

The 1994 presidential election modified the country’s foreign policy mechanism. The central place in the determination of foreign policy now belongs to the president, who is elected by citizens for five years on the basis of a general, free, equal, and direct suffrage by secret ballot. The 1994 constitution vested him with the following powers and authorities: to represent the country in its relations with other states and international organizations; to hold negotiations and to sign international treaties; to appoint and recall diplomatic agents in foreign states and international organizations; and to accept credentials and letters of recall of diplomatic agents of foreign nations. Those powers remained after the approval of a new version of the fundamental law of Belarus at an all-Belarusian referendum in November 1996. Matters related to foreign policy development and implementation are addressed by the presidential administration of Belarus and by the Security Council. The presidential administration has a foreign policy directorate. The Security Council, chaired by the president, drafts resolutions on principal vectors of domestic, foreign, and military policy in the area of security. Permanent members of the council are the prime minister, chair-

Republic of Belarus


man of the Chamber of Representatives of the National Assembly, chairman of the Republic Council of the National Assembly, head of the presidential administration, and state secretary of the Security Council; other members of the council are the state secretary of the Presidential Council, defense minister, minister of the interior, minister of foreign affairs, chairman of the Committee for State Security, and prosecutor general. In addition, the Security Council may include other individuals appointed by the president. The government (Council of Ministers) has in its purview formulation of the principal vectors of foreign policy of the Belarusian state and taking proper measures in their pursuit. Interparliamentary Diplomacy25

By and large, Belarusian members of parliament (MPs) (especially members of the Chamber of Representatives) take part in carrying out foreign policy of the state by passing relevant legislation (law on the approval of principal vectors of domestic and foreign policy, law on declaration of war and making peace, military doctrine) and adopting the country’s budget, as well as by ratifying and denouncing the most important international accords. Belarusian MPs network with their counterparts from other countries and with interparliamentary organizations. Both chambers of the National Assembly have standing commissions on international affairs (the Chamber of Representatives has a standing commission on international affairs and CIS relations, and the Republic Council has a standing commission on international affairs and national security). Certain difficulties in the expansion of interparliamentary cooperation arose after the establishment of the National Assembly of Belarus and dissolution of the previous Supreme Council by the president in November 1996. Most European nations, the United States, Canada, and Japan refused to recognize legitimacy of the new parliament, saying it was partially made up of former Supreme Council deputies who had been transferred to the new body. As a result, deputies of the National Assembly had to keep up ties mostly with MPs from Russia and other CIS nations, and also from Asian, African, and Latin American countries. Out of all international organizations, the most attractive for Belarusian deputies were the InterParliamentary Union, and parliamentary assemblies of the CIS, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Central European Initiative. On a limited scale, they had contacts with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs26

The leading public authority body carrying out foreign policy in Belarus is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A foreign policy agency first appeared in


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Belorussia as far back as 1944 (until 1946, it had existed in the form of People’s Commissariat of Foreign Affairs), but before 1991 it had had limited powers and was regarded as an auxiliary unit in the system of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union. In September 1991, the Council of Ministers of Belarus passed a number of resolutions aimed at updating the objectives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and adapting its structure and personnel to a new context. Lack of traditions of active diplomatic efforts and a complicated social and economic situation in the country created issues in the implementation of its foreign policy agenda and required optimization of the structure of the ministry’s central office. Essentially, that process was completed in December 1998, when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was set up on the basis of the former namesake ministry and also the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and office of the minister for CIS affairs. According to regulations approved by the Council of Ministers on July 31, 2006, the ministry is regarded as a republic-level public administration body subordinate to the government; with respect to certain activities specified by legislative acts, the ministry is subordinate to the president. The ministry is to perform functions related to pursuit of state policy in foreign relations and to coordinate the republic’s foreign policy and foreign economic activities. The system of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs includes the central office, diplomatic and consular missions, as well as state organizations subordinate to the ministry. The central office and foreign missions are funded from the republic’s budget. The minister of foreign affairs is appointed by the president and becomes a member of the Council of Ministers by virtue of his office; he is also a member of the Presidium of the Council of Ministers. In 2015, the minister of foreign affairs had four deputies who were appointed by the government subject to the approval of the president. The most important foreign policy matters are considered at meetings of the ministry’s collegium; it includes, by virtue of their offices, the minister of foreign affairs (chair of the collegium), deputy ministers, and the director of the Department of Foreign Economic Activities. Moreover, if the Council of Ministers so rules, the collegium may include other employees of the central office, foreign missions, and other organizations subordinate to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is the Council of Ministers that defines the number of collegium members (in 2015, there were thirteen). Resolutions of the collegium are formalized in minutes and are generally implemented by resolutions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and orders of the minister. Concurrent with building the ministry’s central office, a network of diplomatic missions abroad was developed. In 1992, thirteen embassies were opened abroad. In 1996, the ministry suggested to the government that embassies needed to be opened with a limited staff and minimal property.

Republic of Belarus


That pattern was used as a basis later when new Belarusian diplomatic missions were set up abroad. In 2014, the republic had forty-eight embassies worldwide (see Appendix 11), two embassies/permanent delegations to international organizations, two permanent delegations to international organizations, seven consulatesgeneral, and one consulate. In addition, thirteen offices of Belarusian embassies functioned abroad. New diplomatic missions (mostly embassies and consulates) are still set up abroad now and then. Human Resources and Analytical Support to Diplomacy27

When building the diplomatic corps, preference was given to professionals from the system of the Soviet Union and of Belarus’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs—first to Belarusians or persons who were born in the republic. Besides career diplomats, leaders of nonprofit organizations and executives of industrial enterprises, public service employees, and other decisionmakers were also engaged in diplomatic activities. In 1992, a system of training professional diplomatic personnel started to take shape. The task was entrusted to the Minsk-based chair of international relations of the history department of Belarusian State University (BSU); the first class of specialists in international relations graduated in 1995. In October 1995, an international relations department was set up at BSU, where programs in international relations, international law, and global economics were launched, to be followed later by tourism management, linguistic and cultural studies, and customs. Advanced training of diplomatic human resources is performed at the Academy of Management under the president of Belarus, where a chair of international relations at the Institute of Public Service was established in 2004. As a result of all this, the central office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expanded from twenty-nine people in 1990 to 400 people in 2000. In the first half of the 1990s, analytical centers (East-West, an independent center of strategic initiatives, the Institute of Statecraft under the Supreme Council of Belarus, the Belarusian Institute of Scientific and Technical Information and Predictive Modeling under the Council of Ministers of Belarus) were mostly not engaged in foreign policy expertise. In January 1995 the Belarusian Institute of Information and Predictive Modeling under the president of Belarus was set up, and in 1997 the Institute of Social and Political Studies under the presidential administration of Belarus was established on its basis, which went through a restructure in 2006 and now exists as the Information and Analytical Center under the presidential administration of Belarus. The center provides informational and analytical support to the activities of the head of state and presidential administration on strategic vectors of society’s political, socioeconomic, and spiritual life. However, it does not deal with issues of international relations and foreign policy.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

In the mid-1990s, foreign policy planning and predictive modeling were included in the area of activities pursued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A unit of analysis and predictive modeling was set up at its central office in 1994; it was later transformed into the Directorate of Foreign Policy Analysis. On April 11, 2001, the collegium of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs passed a resolution titled On Informational and Analytical Work, which stated the task of expanding cooperation with government and nongovernmental scientific research entities. In 2004, an advisory expert board was set up at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which included members of the business community, academia, and diplomats. Among think tanks that conducted research in international relations that was not directly linked to activities of public authority and administrative bodies, it is worth mentioning the International Institute of Political Studies, which existed from 1996 to 2004 as a nongovernmental organization and issued the analytical bulletin Vector; and the Research Institute of Development and Security (1993–2008), a nongovernmental, nonpartisan, and noncommercial organization that studied issues of the republic’s foreign and defense policy, and European and international security (from 1996 to 2006 it published the magazine Belarus in the World). The Center of International Studies of the International Relations Department of BSU, which was set up in 2000 as a result of a joint initiative with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was in ongoing interaction with the ministry and other administrative bodies on matters related to organizing and running academic research and implementing its results. In 2001, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs commissioned development of a foreign policy concept of Belarus to the center.

In 2008, leading Belarusian scholars studying international relations founded a civic association of think tanks, the Center of Foreign Policy and Security Studies, which positioned itself as a nongovernmental organization. In 2013, another nongovernmental noncommercial research organization appeared in Minsk—the Center of Strategic and Foreign Policy Studies. Its activities (analysis of international developments, drafting programs and projects) are aimed at broadening the republic’s opportunities on the international stage. The Eurasian and Euro-Atlantic Vectors in Foreign Policy When reference points of the foreign policy of Belarus were defined, three vectors were highlighted as far back as in the first days of its existence as an independent state: integration with Russia, cooperation with the EU, and

Republic of Belarus


equidistance from both of those centers of power. These approaches are still relevant today. Belarusian-Russian Cooperation28

Cooperation with the Russian Federation has always been a foreign policy priority of Belarus. On June 25, 1992, the two countries established diplomatic relations and opened their respective embassies: the Russian Federation embassy in Minsk (1992), and the embassy of Belarus in Moscow (1993); the latter was formed on the basis of the permanent delegation of Belarus to the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union. In 1992, Vyacheslav Kebich, chairman of the Belarusian government, assumed that a Belarusian-Russian confederation could be set up, but a drive for a rapprochement with Russia started to outline itself more distinctly in 1993. At the time, the emphasis was made on the need for the republic to keep its foothold in the Russian market. In the fall of 1993, Kebich advocated creating a common ruble zone with Russia, and signed an agreement on uniting the two monetary systems (the terms of the agreement suggested actual inclusion of the Belarusian state into the Russian ruble zone in 1994). In 1994, Alexander Lukashenko, who was elected head of the Belarusian state, abandoned the idea of a common ruble zone, citing unpreparedness of the Belarusian side for that step. However, the president refrained from drastically revising the principles of mutual relations with Russia. In January 1995, a number of agreements aimed at a deeper cooperation of the two sides in trade and economy were signed, which enabled abolition of customs control at the Belarusian-Russian border in May 1995. On February 21, 1995, during an official visit of Boris Yeltsin, president of the Russian Federation, to Belarus, the Treaty on Friendship, Good-Neighborliness, and Cooperation was signed in Minsk. In early 1996, leaders of the two countries discussed principles of a bilateral association. Alexander Lukashenko advocated establishing a single state, but Boris Yeltsin thought the idea was too premature. On April 1, 1996, the president of Belarus released a statement saying that a new treaty with Russia must “correct the historical mistake committed in 1991, when Belarusians and Russians were broken apart.” Alexander Lukashenko said a Belarusian-Russian association would “become an essentially new form of interstate interaction. It will not have that unnatural centralization that afflicted the Soviet Union.” On the following day, April 2, 1996, the Treaty on the Formation of an Association of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus was signed at a meeting of the two presidents at the Kremlin. On November 13, 1996, Alexander Lukashenko addressed the Russian side and called on it to continue the path toward rapprochement, drawing its


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

attention to the fact that an association would benefit not only Belarus but the Russian Federation as well, because the republic was a country with an industry based on high technology, with strongly performing agriculture and a highly stable social and political system. From the Belarusian president’s standpoint, an association should be built on the basis of “Christian values.” In January 1997, in a message to Alexander Lukashenko, Boris Yeltsin stated his own point of view regarding further rapprochement of the Russian Federation and Belarus. In turn, the Belarusian president made an emphasis on the need to preserve the republic’s state sovereignty, to exclude dispatching of Belarusian citizens to “hot spots” outside of the country’s territory, and to make the union mutually beneficial. On April 2, 1997, the Treaty on the Union of Belarus and Russia was signed in the Russian capital city. The Union Charter, which was signed by the leaders of the two countries in June 1997 and ratified by parliaments of both nations, was annexed to that document. On the basis of those documents, Belarus and Russia created standing advisory bodies on parity basis for the first time: the Supreme Council, the Parliamentary Assembly, and the Union Executive Committee. On December 25, 1998, the Declaration on Further Unity of Belarus and Russia, the Treaty Between the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation on Equal Rights of Citizens, and the Agreement Between the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation on Establishing Equal Conditions for Businesses were signed in Moscow. Those documents signaled the intention “to continue a stage-by-stage movement towards a voluntary unification within a union state, with preservation of national sovereignty of the Union member nations.” However, some issues in bilateral relations persisted. At the July 2, 1999, meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of Belarus and Russia, Alexander Lukashenko accused the Russian side of unilateral revival of customs borders with the republic. He also maintained that a lack of coordination in monetary policy pointed to the differences in customs import duty rates, and to considerable variations in natural gas, electric power, and transport and communication service prices and tariffs for Belarusian and Russian businesses. In the summer of 1999, the two countries began to discuss practical aspects of their union. The negotiation process was crowned by the signing of the Treaty on the Establishment of a Union State on December 8, 1999, at a new meeting of Alexander Lukashenko and Boris Yeltsin at the Kremlin. In 2001, the Belarusian parliament ratified the treaty. In accordance with that treaty, the Supreme State Council (which includes heads of states, heads of governments, and chairpersons of chambers of parliaments of the member nations), the Council of Ministers, and

Republic of Belarus


the Permanent Committee of the Union State were established. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of Belarus and Russia, which had been set up in 1997, continued to perform functions of the Union State parliament. Within the framework of the Union State, other bodies emerged, including the Border Security and Customs Committees, the Union State Commission for Hydrometeorology and Monitoring of Pollution of the Natural Environment, the Commission for Tariff and Non-Tariff Regulation under the Council of Ministers of the Union State, and the Broadcasting Organization of the Union State. In some areas, work is carried out through joint collegiums of ministries and agencies of Belarus and the Russian Federation (ministries of defense, foreign affairs, and the interior, and border security and customs committees). A wide legal framework of cooperation has been built over time; it includes over 150 international documents (see Appendix 12). Cooperation between diplomats of both countries is based on two-year programs of concerted action in foreign policy. Belarus has multiple times had diplomatic backing of the Russian Federation at international forums (UN, OSCE, Council of Europe). In turn, its leaders spoke against the policy of sanctions that Western countries started to pursue with respect to the Russian Federation in 2014. Relations between Belarus and its individual administrative units with constituent territories of the Russian Federation are being established. Six regions of Belarus and the city of Minsk have cooperation agreements with seventy-six (out of eighty-five) constituent territories of the Russian Federation. They have had the most effective cooperation with Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tyumen, Moscow, Smolensk, Bryansk, Nizhny Novgorod Regions, Bashkortostan, and Tatarstan. Since 2014, a Forum of Regions of the two countries has become an annual event. For Belarus, it is important to cooperate with the Russian Federation in the energy sector. In September 1999, the Belarusian section of the Yamal–Western Europe trunk pipeline was commissioned, which enlarged, and in a major way, the republic’s ability to be a transit country for Russian natural gas going to Europe and to use that gas for its domestic needs, obtaining it for lower prices than other CIS countries. Between 2007 and 2011, Belarus’s leaders transferred Beltransgaz, a joint stock company, under the control of Russian concern Gazprom, making sure that domestic consumers in Belarus were supplied with Russian natural gas in a stable manner. Military Cooperation with the Russian Federation29

Belarus develops military and military-technical cooperation with over sixty countries worldwide, with the Russian Federation being the principal


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

strategic partner for the Belarusian army. On July 7, 1992, the parties entered into the Treaty on Coordination of Activities in the Military Field (with annexes) and the Agreement on Principles of Mutual Technical and Material Provision of Their Armed Forces in Moscow. Improvement of the legal framework continued in 1993. On September 24 the two states entered into the Treaty on the Status of Military Units of the Russian Federation Making Part of the Strategic Forces Temporarily Stationed in the Territory of the Republic of Belarus. On October 29 they signed the Agreement on Military-Technical Cooperation, and on December 23 the Agreement on Interaction in the Area of Military Intelligence. Issues of industrial, scientific, and engineering cooperation of defense industry enterprises of the two countries were addressed in an agreement signed on May 20, 1994, in Minsk, and also in a series of agreements signed on January 6 and February 21, 1995. In order to ensure security of the two countries, the Treaty on Military Cooperation and the Agreement on Joint Provision of Regional Security in the Military Area were signed in December 1997. At the same time, a decision was made to set up a joint collegium of the two defense ministries. The Executive Committee of the Union of Belarus and Russia approved regulations on the collegium in April 1998; after that, the body structure was approved by defense ministers. Until 2010, meetings of the leaders of military agencies of the two countries had been held twice a year. Every year, armed forces of the Union State undertake joint exercises and maneuvers, where they improve interaction between different service branches. One example is the 2006 Union Shield command and control exercises, where regional forces of the two countries completed tasks related to military security of both nations. In 2013, joint strategic exercises of armed forces, West 2013, took place in the territory of Belarus. Since 2014, joint exercises of air and air defense forces of Belarus and the Russian Federation have been organized, which help test combat readiness of control bodies, formations, and military units.

A few military facilities of the Russian Federation are stationed in Belarus. Strategic partnership is confirmed by the establishment of regional troops (forces) of the Union State, which includes armed forces of Belarus and the 20th Army of the Western Military District of Russia’s armed forces. Cooperation with European Countries30

The European vector is a key priority of foreign policy of Belarus. It has had special relations with some European countries (principally with

Republic of Belarus


Lithuania and Poland) over centuries, and those relations were conditioned by the republic territory being part of other states (Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth). In the 1990s, European countries and the United States, which played the role of the “global West,” were seeing an economic upturn and had authority and influence. In Europe, Belarus displayed the biggest interest in industrially developed countries (Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland); neighboring countries (Poland, Lithuania, Latvia); geographically and historically close nations (the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, republics of the former Yugoslavia, Finland, Estonia). In 1992, Belarusian embassies and consulates started to be opened in European countries (see Appendix 11). Between 1992 and 1996, the republic was engaged in a more active political dialog with individual European states; cooperation treaties were signed with Romania (May 7, 1993), Bulgaria (October 19, 1993), Lithuania (February 6, 1995), Yugoslavia (March 6, 1996), and France (it was signed on July 11, 1996, but the French parliament did not ratify it, so it did not take effect). In the fall of 1996, European politicians started to pull the plug on the dialogue with official Minsk. The relations between European states and Belarus reached their lowest point in 2005 and 2006, when leaders of some European countries (Germany, France, Poland, the Czech Republic, Lithuania) not only slammed the policy of Belarusian authorities in harsh words but also demonstratively received members of the Belarusian opposition. Approaches of European policymakers to Belarusian political realities started to change in 2007. The trend manifested itself even more clearly in 2008 and solidified between 2009 and 2010. From September 2008 to November 2010, Lithuania’s president; Italy’s prime minister; ministers of foreign affairs of Finland, Spain, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Italy, Poland, and Germany; and parliamentary delegations from Finland, the Czech Republic, France, Estonia, Italy, Hungary, and Denmark came to Minsk for visits. In 2009, the president of Belarus visited Italy and Lithuania, and the prime minister of Belarus went to Poland and Latvia. In 2009 and 2010, the process of demarcation of state borders of Belarus with Lithuania and Latvia was completed. In 2010, an agreement on “small-scale cross-border movement” was signed with Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania. Small-scale cross-border movement is a form of simplified procedures of border crossing for residents of a border area (generally, stretching for 30 kilometers) to pursue social, cultural, or family goals.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

In 2010 the republic’s political relations with European states relapsed into a “frozen” state, and in 2011–2012 they were built in the spirit of confrontation. In 2012, the embassy of Sweden in Belarus and the embassy of Belarus in Sweden were shut, and implementation of “small-scale crossborder movement” agreements with Lithuania and Poland was suspended. In 2013, the political pendulum in bilateral relations with European countries started to swing toward a constructive dialogue again. A breakaway from former paradigms helped animate the republic’s political contacts with European nations. One sign of a “thaw” was a visit to Minsk of Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and President François Hollande of France in February 2015, within the framework of a new round of the “Normandy format” talks on Ukraine in the Belarusian capital city; another sign was visits of government delegations from Estonia. However, restraint in a political dialogue was not an insurmountable obstacle for the development of cooperation with European nations in economy and culture. Trade ties with Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, the United Kingdom, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia were characterized by stability and intensity. From 2011 to 2015, trade contacts with France, Estonia, Finland, and Switzerland started to enlarge. Trade with European countries amounted to $21 billion (28 percent of total Belarusian foreign trade) in 2014. Principal Stages of Cooperation with the European Union: Supranational Level31

Diplomatic relations between European communities and Belarus were established in August 1992. The EU-Belarus Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (1995) and the Interim (Temporary) Trade Agreement (1996) were signed and ratified by the Belarusian side. The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement was ratified by seven EU member states; however, the process was suspended by a 1997 decision of the EU Council, and it is still in force. Only the Agreement Between the European Economic Community and European Atomic Energy Community and the USSR on Trade and Commercial and Economic Cooperation (1989), which regulates bilateral economic relations, and the December 18, 2008, framework agreement between the government of Belarus and the Commission of European Communities, which regulates technical cooperation, are still in force. A bilateral agreement on textile trade, which established quotas on Belarusian textile exports, was signed with the EU in 1993 and renewed in 1995, in 1999, and from 2003 to 2007, but it expired in 2009. The following key initiatives of the EU apply to Belarus: • European Neighborhood Policy (2004). Not in effect for the Belarusian side because a mutually agreed plan of action of the republic as

Republic of Belarus


a policy member nation has not been signed with the European Commission. • Eastern Partnership (2009). Consists of a multilateral format (four platforms plus six flagship initiatives) and bilateral format (signed plans of action, association agreements). Belarus pursues cooperation only in the multilateral format. • Northern Dimension. Belarus takes part in the environmental partnership. • Projects of international technical aid and cross-border cooperation within the framework of the European Neighborhood Instrument (European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights [EIDHR]).

The following stages can be identified in the relations between the European Union and Belarus:

1994–1996: active phase (Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and Interim Trade Agreement signed). The procedure of drafting the Partner-

ship and Cooperation Agreement began on October 1, 1994, when the EU Council contacted the EU Commission requesting suggestions concerning amendments to be made to the directives on negotiations with Belarus. In November 1994, the EU Council approved amended directives for the European Commission on Partnership and Cooperation Agreement talks, which allowed the European Commission to hold the same negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova. The agreement (eighty-two articles and eight annexes) was initialed in December 1994 and signed in March 1995. As a result, a comprehensive political dialogue took place; inclusion of an article on development into the agreement opened up an opportunity for transforming it into an agreement on a free trade zone later. In March 1996, the Interim Trade Agreement was signed, which incorporated the most important provisions of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement but did not require ratification by parliaments of EU member nations. In April 1995, the European Parliament passed a resolution to the effect that respect for human rights and rights of minorities was a prerequisite for the implementation of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. In October 1996, the European Parliament passed a resolution on suspension of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement ratification process and implementation of the Interim Trade Agreement. 1997–2007: ratification of agreements suspended, political relations and development of economic cooperation “frozen.” This period was charac-

terized by a low level of political contacts. Political relations were contingent on the degree of the Belarusian side’s compliance with the following requirements of the EU, OSCE, and Council of Europe: expansion of the


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

powers vested in parliament; representation of the opposition in electoral commissions; equal access to state-controlled media granted to the opposition; and bringing electoral legislation closer to international standards. The official position of Belarus positively assessed the initiative of launching the EU’s Neighborhood Policy “as being in concert with national strategic priorities with respect to the rapprochement with the EU and building a belt of ‘good neighborly relations.’” However, the European Union passed a number of new, harsh resolutions concerning the republic. Moreover, it did not recognize the outcome of the October 17, 2004, parliamentary election and referendum, and introduced a ban on issuing EU visas to the country’s high-ranking officials. Formally, Belarus was included in the European Neighborhood Policy (2004); however, its participation was once again conditioned by implementation of significant political and economic reforms. In this period, the country was provided with international technical aid through the implementation of projects within the framework of the European Neighborhood Instrument, and regional programs of the Baltic Sea: Latvia-Lithuania-Belarus, and Poland-Ukraine-Belarus. 2008–2010: normalization of relations, visits of high-ranking EU representatives to Belarus, opening of the European Commission’s representative office in Minsk, accession to the interim agreement. A resolution of

the EU Council dated October 13, 2008, which had regulated relations between the republic and the EU until January 2011, signaled certain progress during the election campaign compared to previous elections and, in particular, cooperation with the OSCE and Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and wider access to the media granted to the opposition, as well as the release, prior to the election, of the last remaining political prisoners who were recognized as such at the international level. In addition, it was announced that contacts with Belarusian authorities would be resumed and the ban on travels of Belarusian officials (with respect of which restrictions were in place) to EU countries would be suspended for six months. A list of forty-one officials who were not allowed to enter the EU was cut to five people. Another announcement concerned a resolution of the EU Council and a six-month probation period for the country. In this period, a number of visits of high-level EU delegations and representatives took place, and official documents issued by EU agencies with respect to Belarus showed less harsh rhetoric. After a three-year pause, the first meeting of the EU’s three ministers (Bernard Kouchner, minister of foreign and European affairs of France, then chair of the EU; Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European commissioner for external relations and European Neighborhood Policy; and Javier Solana, the EU’s High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy) with Sergei Martynov, head of the Belarusian foreign policy agency, took place in Luxembourg. On

Republic of Belarus


November 5, 2008, during a visit of a delegation of the European Commission led by Hugues Mingarelli, deputy director general of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for External Relations, issues related to a more active cooperation with the European Union were discussed, as well as the launch of three new vectors of cooperation that were important for Belarus: product quality regulation and cooperation in standardization, interaction of financial institutions, and collaboration in agriculture and food security. On December 18, 2008, Jose Manuel Pinto Teixeira, head of the European Commission’s delegation to Ukraine and Belarus, came to Minsk for his first visit. A representative office of the Commission of European Communities was opened in Minsk. On February 19, 2009, Javier Solana, the EU’s High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, came to the republic for his first visit, during which he met with President Alexander Lukashenko. On April 17 and June 22, 2009, Karel Schwarzenberg, minister of foreign affairs of the Czech Republic (chairman of the EU in the first half of 2009), and Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European commissioner for external relations and European Neighborhood Policy, also met with Alexander Lukashenko. On May 7, 2009, a Belarusian delegation took part in the founding summit of the EU’s Eastern Partnership initiative. On October 27, 2009, during a joint meeting of representatives of the Council of Europe and the European Union in Luxembourg, the attendees reiterated the EU’s readiness for cooperation within the framework of the Eastern Partnership and emphasized the willingness of Belarus to make further steps ahead (for instance, opening of an information office of the Council of Europe in Minsk). 2011–2012: introduction of restrictive measures in retaliation for the events surrounding the 2010 presidential election, lower level of political contacts. A resolution of the EU Council dated January 31, 2011, intro-

duced restrictive measures against Belarus (a ban on entering the EU was imposed on certain individuals who had the republic’s citizenship, and a ban on economic activities was introduced for a number of Belarusian companies). By its June 20, 2011, resolution, the EU Council imposed an embargo on armament supplies to Belarus and froze assets of three major Belarusian companies. Subsequent resolutions of the EU Council passed in January and on October 15, 2012, extended those restrictive measures. 2012–present: intensification of contacts, negotiations on a simpler visa regime and readmission, consultations regarding modernization. At

present, the EU policy with respect to Belarus is based on the October 15, 2012, resolution of the EU Council and is defined as a policy of critical interaction and targeted restrictive measures. Restrictive measures with


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

respect to certain individuals and companies have been lifted, and highlevel contacts with the EU have been restored and activated since late 2012. Within the framework of the European Neighborhood Instrument (2014–2020), a strategy paper and an indicative program for European Union support (2014–2017) were formulated for Belarus; they define only technical cooperation. In 2014, negotiations began heading toward signing of an agreement on a simpler visa regime and readmission, and consultations were held regarding modernization for the purpose of cooperation between the republic’s government and the EU in that area. Both the EU and Belarus acknowledge the importance of comprehensive cooperation. However, ways of achieving that goal are conditioned by a number of requirements: the EU puts forward political requirements related with human rights, and Belarus has mostly economic requirements (lifting of existing restrictive measures). The principle “less for less and more for more” used by the EU is ineffective both in bilateral relations and within the framework of Eastern Partnership. The integrity of the initiative is violated, and a significant difference in the EU’s relations with various Eastern Partnership member nations is obvious in both bilateral and multilateral formats. Belarus and the United States32

On December 28, 1991, the United States established diplomatic relations with Belarus, and at first those relations were developed on a friendly basis. In 1991 and 1993, US secretaries of state came to Minsk on working visits. In July 1993, Stanislau Shushkevich, then chairman of the Supreme Council of Belarus, visited the United States officially for the first time in the history of the Belarusian-US relations. In January 1994, President Bill Clinton of the United States came to the republic on an official visit. In October 1995, a visit of President Alexander Lukashenko, of Belarus, to the United States took place. In the second half of the 1990s, a political dialogue between Belarus and the United States was suspended. An important role belonged to the fact that the United States was displeased with the Belarusian leaders’ policy aimed at strengthening the vertical power structure and expansion of cooperation with Russia. In February 1997, Bill Clinton’s administration expressed intention to build relations with Belarus on the principles of “selective interaction” (interaction in areas of interest for the United States) and warned that from this time on the United States would have “democratic forces, independent media, and nongovernmental organizations” as its priority partners in Belarus. In October 2004, the Belarus Democracy Act was passed in the United States, which laid a legal foundation for scaling back the dialogue with offi-

Republic of Belarus


cial Minsk and imposing sanctions against some enterprises of the republic. Belarusian authorities regarded the passing of the act as interference in the country’s internal affairs, which contravened universally recognized rules of international law. Nevertheless, the United States extended that document in 2006. In 2009 and 2010, political contacts between the parties at the level of parliaments and governments were expanding. In December 2010 in Astana, at a meeting between Sergei Martynov, Belarusian minister of foreign affairs, and Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, the two counterparts reached an agreement on cooperation of the two countries in nuclear security and nuclear nonproliferation. However, Belarusian-US interaction in the political sector did not change in a meaningful way. In January 2012, US president Barack Obama approved a new version of the Belarus Democracy and Human Rights Act, and in June 2014 he extended that document. At the same time, in 2014–2015, signs emerged that relations between the two countries were starting to warm. In 2014, first consultations were held regarding matters of international security, and the US embassy resumed issuing entry visas directly in the territory of Belarus. In August 2015, a US parliamentary delegation visited Minsk. Bilateral contacts were pursued not only by foreign policy agencies but also by ministries of culture, healthcare, sports and tourism, agriculture, labor, and social security. Complicated political relations were impacting the nature of BelarusianUS trade and investment ties. In 1995, an intergovernmental committee for the development of US business in Belarus started its activities. In the second half of the 1990s, the US approach to the development of economic cooperation with the republic became more reserved. In 1997, activities of the US Trade and Development Agency and of the US-Belarusian Business Development Committee were suspended in Belarus. In 1998 the United States refused to extend loans to Belarusian state entities, and in 2000 and the republic lost the right of duty-free imports to the United States within the framework of the “generalized system of preferences.” Nevertheless, the United States did not abandon economic cooperation with Belarus altogether. In 2013, the United States invested $168 million in the country’s economy, with direct investments amounting to $128 million. World-renowned US companies such as EPAM Systems, Exadel, Microsoft, HP, Culligan, Coca-Cola, and McDonald’s still operate in the country. Americans display interest in the solutions developed by the Belarusian High-Tech Park. Notwithstanding difficulties in the furtherance of their political dialogue, Belarus and the United States have collaborated in fighting crime in the high-tech sector, human trafficking, illegal distribution of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, and child pornography. In 2013, the United States was the third most important country (after Switzerland and


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Germany) that provided financial aid to the republic to help control the fallout of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Belarus and NATO33

Within the framework of the Euro-Atlantic vector of its foreign policy, in March 1992 Belarus, together with other CIS states, joined into activities of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC), set up in late 1991. In the same year, Belarusian MPs started to take part in sessions of the Parliamentary Assembly of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Between 1992 and 1994, other forms of cooperation were widely used, such as NATO military inspections in Belarus, joint action in arms control, conversion of military production facilities, collaboration in science, and networking among service personnel, nongovernmental organizations, and members of the media community. In 1992, the leaders of Belarus discussed matters related to the implementation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) with NATO representatives. In November 1992, the first visit ever to Belarus of Manfred Wörner, NATO’s secretary-general, took place. In the fall of 1994, the embassy of Belarus in Belgium was authorized to represent the Belarusian state with NATO. In October 1993, NATO proposed to the republic’s leadership joining the Partnership for Peace program. In January 1995, while in Brussels, Minister of Foreign Affairs Uladzimir Syanko signed the framework document on cooperation between Belarus and NATO under that program. In May 1997, at a meeting of the NACC in Sintra (Portugal), the Belarusian delegation supported the suggestion on transforming the NACC into the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) and communicated an Individual Partnership Program to the NATO leaders; the program proposed cooperation with the alliance in seventeen areas. In 1998, the permanent representative office of Belarus at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was opened. At the same time, official Minsk did not show much enthusiasm with respect to NATO’s expansion plans. In October 1996, speaking at the first All-Belarusian Assembly, President Alexander Lukashenko characterized NATO’s contemplated enlargement as expansion that needed to be rebuffed, and in 1997 he refused to take part in NATO’s Madrid summit. In turn, the NATO authorities turned down the Belarusian initiative to create a nuclearfree space in Central and Eastern Europe, put forward in 1996, refused to sign an act on principles of relations with Belarus, and wanted to reduce contacts with official Minsk to the minimum. In the spring of 1999, the Belarusian leaders condemned NATO’s military operation against the Union Republic of Yugoslavia as a “blatant act of aggression” and suspended cooperation with NATO at all levels, includ-

Republic of Belarus


ing Partnership for Peace programs. After the military operation was over, in August 1999 contacts with NATO were resumed. In May 2000, the president of Belarus endorsed and NATO divisions approved a new Individual Partnership Program for 2000–2001, which stipulated willingness of the Belarusian side to collaborate with NATO in fourteen sectors, mostly nonmilitary. In the 2000s the republic had contacts with NATO mainly within the framework of the EAPC and Partnership for Peace program, and in 2004 it joined the planning and review process and signed with NATO a memorandum of understanding on technical support, on the basis of which a joint project to destroy about 700,000 conventional dynamite landmines located in the Belarusian territory was completed in 2006. In November 2009, Belarus became a full-fledged member of the Geneva Center for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces. Economic Diplomacy and Cooperation with Emerging Countries Imperatives of Economic Diplomacy and “Integration of Integrations”34

Concurrent with a more active pursuance of a multifaceted policy, priority in the country’s foreign policy was given to boosting exports of goods and services. Promotion of exports—raising investments from overseas— became the main criterion by which performance effectiveness of Belarusian diplomatic missions abroad was evaluated. That pragmatic approach looked logical and well founded.35 In the present-day economic environment, it is important for Belarus not only to keep its positions in traditional markets (Russia and other CIS member nations, EU members), but also to entrench itself in “remote salient” and new prospective markets (India, China, Iran, the United States, Persian Gulf, African and Latin American countries), including in the context of President Alexander Lukashenko’s idea of “integration of integrations.” Creation of common economic space from Lisbon to Vladivostok opens up new horizons for Belarus, foremost along the EAEU-EU track. Some member states of those associations are the main backbones in the geographical structure of Belarusian exports and major sources of investments and technologies for high-tech sectors of the republic’s economy. Enlargement of Belarus’s cooperation with some regional economic groups, such as the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Council of the Baltic Sea States, and Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), and playing a key role in them with the aim of promoting collaboration with other associations (European


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

The “integration of integrations” concept means that associations such as those between Belarus and Russia, Belarus and the CIS, and Belarus and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) will constitute building institutional cooperation with other major groups, including with the European Union (building “Bigger Europe”), China, other nations in Asia Pacific, and other regions. The idea was first voiced in 2011, in the newspaper Izvestia,36 as a reaction to an article by Russian president Vladimir Putin, published in the same newspaper, on integration in the post-Soviet space within the framework of the Eurasian Union.

Union, Association of Southeast Asian Nations [ASEAN], markets of Southern Cone countries, etc.), will provide favorable conditions for the activities of Belarusian businesses in respective regions. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus has developed a concept of a national program of export support and development for 2016–2020, which, unlike its predecessor, the 2011–2015 program, suggests adjusting the format with a focus on improvement of systems and mechanisms of export support, abandonment of administrative management of planned indicators, and transition to an indicative forecasting method, to make the system more flexible and innovative. The goal of foreign economic activities for the period 2016–2020, within the framework of the country’s sustainable development concept, is to ensure well-balanced foreign trade by creating a competitive and accessible national system of institutions and mechanisms for the development of foreign economic activities. The Asian Vector37

With a focus on a multifaceted foreign policy, closer attention started to be given to other regions of the world—Asia, Africa, and Latin America—in addition to the Eurasian and Euro-Atlantic vectors. At first, priority was given to Asian countries. In the first half of the 1990s, Belarusian leaders visited China, Mongolia, India, Japan, Israel, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). At the same time, contacts with Vietnam, South Korea, Iran, and Turkey gained momentum. In the second half of the 1990s, Belarusian diplomacy was active in East Asia and the Asian Pacific region, in South and Southeast Asia, and in the Middle and Near East. In the 2000s, that work continued. A number of embassies were opened in Asian countries (see Appendix 11). At the same time, embassies of Vietnam, Israel, India, Iraq, Iran, China, South Korea, the UAE, Palestine, Syria, Turkey, and Japan, and Mongolia’s consular office, worked in Minsk.

Republic of Belarus


Visits of the country’s leaders helped strengthen relations with some nations across Asia. In particular, the president of Belarus made visits to Bahrain (2002), China (1995, 2001, 2005, 2010, 2013, 2015), India (1997, 2007), Indonesia (2013), Iran (1998, 2006), Israel (2000), Kuwait (2000), Lebanon (2005), Oman (2007), Pakistan (2015), Palestine (2000), Qatar (2001), Singapore (2013), South Korea (1997), Syria (1998, 2003), Turkey (1996, 1999, 2010), the UAE (2000, 2007), and Vietnam (1997, 2008). Leaders of Asian countries have also visited the republic—for instance, heads of state of China (1995, 2007, 2001, 2015), India (2015), Laos (2013), Lebanon (2001, 2004), Pakistan (2015), Syria (2010), and Vietnam (1998, 2010). In 2014, the republic’s overall trade with Asian countries (outside of the CIS) amounted to $6.4 billion (8.4 percent of the country’s total foreign trade); Belarusian exports to Asian countries equaled $2.3 billion, and imports from them reached $4.1 billion. Continental China accounts for China is the key partner of Belarus in East Asia, Vietnam its about half of all of the republic’s key partner in Southeast Asia, trade with Asian countries outside India its key partner in South of the CIS. Starting from the second Asia, and Turkey its key partner half of the first decade of the in West Asia. twenty-first century, one special feature of Belarusian-Chinese trade has been a persistent trade deficit. In 2013, the trade disproportion reached a record level of $2.4 billion. In the second half of the 1990s, Belarus and China launched joint industrial projects. In the 2000s, China expanded investments in the republic’s economy, and provided loans for the implementation of specific industrial projects (in return, the Belarusian side was obliged to buy Chinese machinery and equipment). China helped renovate thermal power plants in Minsk, upgrade cement enterprises, build the Beijing Hotel, carry out a project of the China-Belarus Industrial Park, and organize a passenger-car assembly line. In 2015, the Belarusian side voiced its support of the Chinese leaders’ efforts aimed at the creation of the Silk Road Economic Belt. Great Stone (until 2014 called China-Belarus Industrial Park) is a special economic zone in Smalyavichy district, Minsk region (25 kilometers from Minsk, near the Minsk National Airport), which was set up within the framework of an intergovernmental agreement between Belarus and the People’s Republic of China in 2011. The project was modeled after the China-Singapore Industrial Park in Suzhou. Chinese corporation Huawei became the first resident of the park.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

In 2013, the parties officially declared their strategic partnership and embodied that declaration in the 2015 Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation. Contacts with Vietnam started to expand in the second half of the 1990s. New principles of bilateral relations were reflected in the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between Belarus and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, signed in Hanoi on April 24, 1997. Both countries cooperate productively in the UN and within the framework of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). An active political dialog gave a new impetus to the Belarusian-Vietnamese economic and cultural cooperation. Bilateral trade reached a record figure in 2013, when it amounted to $195 million. Unlike its trade with China, the republic has kept positive balance in trade with Vietnam, as Vietnamese have been actively buying Belarusian machinery and equipment. In 2006, the Minsk automobile plant joined the government-sponsored program of development of Vietnam’s automotive industry, which helped reinforce Belarusian-Vietnamese ties in the machine-building sector. There was also an assembly line of the Belarusian Optic and Mechanic Association operating in Vietnam. The country is regarded by the Belarusian side as a convenient foothold that can be used to tap into markets of neighboring Asia Pacific countries. For some time lately, prospects of expanding Belarusian-Vietnamese economic contacts have been linked with the development of a free trade zone between Vietnam and the EAEU. Relations with India have been friendly and stable since Belarus first entered the international stage as an independent state. More than once, both countries have showed closeness of their positions on issues of international development, and have interacted within the framework of the UN and the Non-Aligned Movement. In 2007, the Belarusian side included India in a list of its strategic partners, and that message was recorded in a joint statement. Economic cooperation has been the foundation of the two countries’ interaction. Belarusian-Indian trade increased from $16 to $495 million between 1995 and 2012. In subsequent years, that indicator never went down below $400 million (in 2014 it was $432 million), and a positive balance has been invariably kept in trade with India. Some enterprises, such as Belarusian Potash Company, BelTechЕхport, AMKODOR (construction machinery), and BelAZ, have been quite active in the Indian market. The Belarusian side displayed a heightened interest in collaborating with India in science and technology. As for investments, interaction between the two countries has been quite modest. Belarusian-Turkish cooperation has had its own special features. They stemmed from the fact that Turkey, a NATO member nation, declared its intention to become a full-fledged member of the EU. As a result, conflict situations arose occasionally in Belarusian-Turkish relations in the 1990s, although Turkey was the first state to recognize the sovereignty of Belarus

Republic of Belarus


in 1991. However, those conflicts never degenerated into confrontation and did not prevent the two countries from signing their Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation (July 24, 1996), which took effect in 1999. The Belarusian leaders have emphasized multiple times their readiness for a constructive dialogue with Turkey’s leaders, although that country was never declared a strategic partner. In 2014, the two countries agreed on a simplified traveling procedure for their respective citizens. Turkey is among the most important investment partners of the republic. Turkish businesses are attracted by the construction sector, first and foremost, and also by transport, communications, and the consumer industry. Latin America38

The region started to emerge as a priority vector of Belarusian foreign policy in the second half of the 1990s. Initially, Cuba was the main partner, as ties with that country had been established since Soviet times. On September 3, 2000, during his official visit to Cuba, President Alexander Lukashenko signed a bilateral treaty on friendly relations and cooperation. In the 2000s, ties with Latin American countries became more fruitful and dynamic. In July 2004, Alexander Lukashenko said the region should not stay in the “backyard” of Belarusian foreign policy, because most of its countries were natural allies of Belarus. Belarus and Latin American nations have multiple times stressed concurrence of their approaches to major international issues. Belarusian diplomats have collaborated quite productively with representatives of Latin American countries in the UN and within the framework of the Non-Aligned Movement. In 2010, President Alexander Lukashenko made an official visit to Brazil, and in 2012 to Ecuador. Presidents of Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador came to Belarus on visits in 2015. In the late 1990s, the Belarusian side started to expand its diplomatic presence in the Latin American region (see Appendix 11). Of all Latin America countries, Brazil, Venezuela, Cuba, and Ecuador have full-fledged high-level diplomatic missions in Minsk. Politically, cooperation with Venezuela has been the most productive. In 2006, leaders of Belarus and Venezuela agreed to elevate their countries’ bilateral relations to a strategic partnership. From 2006 to 2010, in terms of intensity of contacts at the highest political level, Venezuela was second after Russia, and Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez came to the republic on visits every year. Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko visited Venezuela twice (in 2007 and 2010). However, after Hugo Chávez’s death in 2013, Belarusian-Venezuelan ties showed more restraint. The Belarusian side considers Latin American countries to be a large market with dynamic growth. Initially, Cuba and Argentina were regarded


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

In Venezuela, Belarusian enterprises were able to join development of oil and natural gas fields, and were given access to large-scale construction projects. From 2010 to 2012, direct oil supplies from Venezuela took place (with support from Ukraine and the Baltic states); however, the project was scrapped due to poor profit margins (Venezuelan oil cost more than Russian).

as the most promising partners in Latin America. However, in the 2000s, the emphasis shifted to Brazil, Venezuela, and Ecuador. Trade with Brazil turned out to be the most effective, as it increased from $15 to $931 billion between 1992 and 2014. Africa39

Another vector of the republic’s multifaceted foreign policy is expansion of contacts with African countries. In the first half of the 1990s, capabilities of Belarusian diplomacy to carry out vigorous activities on the African continent were limited, and it did not display much interest in that regional vector. The situation changed in the second half of the 1990s. Between 1996 and 2011, Belarusian official delegations visited Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, South Africa, Sudan, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Mali, and Morocco. President Alexander Lukashenko went on visits to African countries twice: to Egypt in June 1998, and to Libya in October and November 2000; both of those visits were official. Visits of leaders of African states were less frequent. Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni was the first African leader to come to Minsk (April 2000) on a short visit. Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir visited Belarus in April 2004; Muammar Qaddafi, leader of Libya, visited in November 2008; and government delegations from South Africa came twice, in 2007 and 2008. In 2011, Gambia’s minister of foreign affairs visited Minsk. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Belarus opened embassies in Egypt, South Africa, and Libya; however, financial and technical issues hampered that process. In 2011, activities of the embassy of Belarus in Libya were terminated. That same year, an embassy in Nigeria was opened. Another was opened in Ethiopia in 2013. Of all African countries, only Libya set up a full-fledged diplomatic mission in Minsk. Belarus’s cooperation with African countries was pursued not only on a bilateral basis but also within the framework of international organizations, foremost the UN and the Non-Aligned Movement. Belarusian officials have been active in asserting the right of African peoples to independent development, and have spoken against interference in their internal affairs. The republic is anxious to expand trade and economic contacts to Africa, to promote products of Belarusian enterprises in the African market, and to obtain access to the rich natural resources of the African continent.

Republic of Belarus


In 2014, cumulative trade with African countries was $533 million (0.6 percent of total Belarusian foreign trade). Egypt, South Africa, Sudan, and Morocco were major foreign trade partners. 1. The following section was contributed by Galina Ivanovna Posokhina. 2. M. E. Chasnouski, History of Foreign Policy of the Republic of Belarus: A Textbook (Brest: Brest State University Publishers, 2008), p. 3. 3. “Presentation of Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus, at the 4th All-Belarusian Assembly,” December 6, 2010, http://president -lukashenko-na-chetvertom-vsebelorusskom-narodnom-sobranii-5895/. 4. “Demography,” National Statistical Committee of the Republic of Belarus, 5. “Religious Affiliations of Belarusian Population,” /materialy/naselenie-belarusi/426-religioznyj-sostav-naseleniyabelarusi.html. 6. A. Bilyk and Yu. Uralsky, “Protection of Rights of People Who Belong to National Minorities in the Republic of Belarus” (Minsk: Ecoperspectiva, 1998), 7 “National Resources and Socio-Economic Potential of the Country’s Sustainable Development,” _NSUR2020_03.doc. 8. SIPRI Yearbook 2014: Armaments, Disarmament, and International Security, 9. “Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus at the Present Stage of Development,” Defense Ministry of the Republic of Belarus, .php?ELEMENT_ID=28101&clear_cache=Y. 10. A. Alesin, “Belarus Listed Among Most Militarized Countries,” Naviny.By, Belorussian news, December 28, 2014, /ic_articles_112_187864. 11. “On State Sovereignty of the Republic of Belarus: Declaration of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus, July 27, 1990, no. 193-XII,” Bulletin of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus, no. 31 (1991), p. 536. 12. The following section was contributed by Galina Ivanovna Posokhina. 13. The following section was contributed by Galina Ivanovna Posokhina. 14. “Speech of Piotr Kravchenko, Minister of Foreign Affairs, at the 46th Session of the UN General Assembly,” Soviet Belorussia, October 5, 1991. 15. Chasnouski, History of Foreign Policy of the Republic of Belarus. 16. “Only the People Has the Right to Decide Its Own Destiny!” Materials of the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly, October 19–20, 1996, edited by V. L. Berezovskaya et al. (Minsk: Belarusian Printing House, 1996), p. 28. 17. The following section was contributed by Galina Ivanovna Posokhina. 18. “On the Approval of Principal Vectors of Domestic and Foreign Policy of the Republic of Belarus: Law of the Republic of Belarus of November 14, 2005,” 19. V. E. Snapkovsky, “Foreign Policy of the Republic of Belarus: Conceptual Foundations and Priority Vectors,” in Foreign Policy of New Independent States, edited by B. A. Shmelev (Moscow: Institute of Economy, Russian Academy of Sciences, 2015), pp. 10–33. 20. The following section was contributed by Galina Ivanovna Posokhina.



Foreign Policies of the CIS States

21. “Military Doctrine of the Republic of Belarus,” 2002, http://base.spinform .ru/show_doc.fwx?rgn=1995. 22. “Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus ‘On Approval of the National Security Concept of the Republic of Belarus,’” http://base.spinform .ru/show_doc.fwx?rgn=32062. 23. The following section was contributed by Alexander Valentinovich Tsikhamirau. 24. The following section was contributed by Alexander Valentinovich Tsikhamirau. 25. The following section was contributed by Alexander Valentinovich Tsikhamirau. 26. The following section was contributed by Alexander Valentinovich Tsikhamirau. 27. The following section was contributed by Alexander Valentinovich Tsikhamirau. 28. The following section was contributed by Alexander Valentinovich Tsikhamirau. 29. The following section was contributed by Ivan Mikhailovich Makhnach. 30. The following section was contributed by Ivan Mikhailovich Makhnach. 31. The following section was contributed by Elena Anatolievna Dostanko. 32. The following section was contributed by Ivan Mikhailovich Makhnach. 33. The following section was contributed by Ivan Mikhailovich Makhnach. 34. The following section was contributed by Ruslan Olegovich Yesin. 35. V. G. Shadursky, “Foreign Policy of the Republic of Belarus: Search for an Optimal Model,” Proceedings of the Department of International Relations 2011: An Academic Collection, no. 2, Belarus State University, 2011, /handle/123456789/5129?locale=en. 36. A. Lukashenko, “On the Fate and Fortunes of Our Integration,” Izvestia, October 17, 2011, 37. The following section was contributed by Elena Anatolievna Dostanko. 38. The following section was contributed by Elena Anatolievna Dostanko. 39. The following section was contributed by Elena Anatolievna Dostanko. Dostanko, E. A., and T. V. Vorotnitskaya. The European Union’s Eastward Expansion Policy: A Monograph. Minsk: Academy of Management, 2007. Kazak, E. “Geopolitical Potential of the Republic of Belarus in Today’s Environment.” Belarusian Journal of International Law and International Relations, no. 4 (2004), pp. 33–38. Makey, V. V. “Foreign Policy of Belarus Serving Peace and Sustainable Development.” Problems of Management 55, no. 2 (2015), pp. 4–10. Rusakovich, A. V. Germany in Belarus’ Foreign Policy (1990–2012). Minsk: RIVSh, 2015. Shadursky, V. G. “Formation of Conceptual Foundations of Foreign Policy of the Republic of Belarus (1991–2011).” Bulletin of BSU ser. 3, no. 3 (2011), pp. 31–36. Sharapo, A. V. The Republic of Belarus in the Context of the 21st-Century Geopolitics. Minsk: BSU, 2012. Snapkovsky, V. E. History of Belarus’ Foreign Policy: A Textbook. Minsk: BSU, 2013. Tikhomirov, A. V. Foreign Policy of the Republic of Belarus in 1991–2011. Minsk: Law and Economics, 2014. Ulakhovich, V. E. Formation of the Foundations of Foreign Policy of the Republic of Belarus (1991–2005). Minsk: Harvest, 2009. Yesin, R. O. “The Regional Zigzag.” Belarusskaya Dumka, no. 8 (2015), pp. 72–75.

Suggested Readings

5 Republic of Kazakhstan

Conceptual Framework and Mechanism of Foreign Policy Doctrinal Beliefs of the First Decade1 The initial conceptual vision of the foreign policy of Kazakhstan was presented in the Strategy of Establishment and Development of Kazakhstan as a Sovereign State, dated May 16, 1992, which provided the basis for subsequent developments for the country’s reconstruction and transformation. The third chapter of the document addresses “Strategy in the Sphere of Foreign Policy and National Security.” With regard to international cooperation, the country’s priorities of the 1990s included the leading Western states (particularly the nuclear weapons states: the United States, Great Britain, and France), special relations with China, and establishment of new relations with Russia. Turkey, which had been uniting the Turkish-speaking peoples since the beginning of the 1990s, was mentioned in the documents as a key partner of choice. An important role was assigned to cooperation with international organizations: the United Nations (UN), the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) (as a part of the Partnership for Peace program). The aim was to gradually implement the initiative announced by Kazakhstan in the UN for convening the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), and for participating in the activities of the Asian Organization for Economic Cooperation. The next conceptual document, specifying the priorities of Kazakhstan, as well as the ways and methods to achieve them, was the first long-term strategy for the republic’s development. It was announced in 1997 in the 141


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

first official address of the president of Kazakhstan to the people of Kazakhstan and titled “Independence Strategy: Kazakhstan-2030—Prosperity, Security, and Improvement of Welfare of All Kazakhs.” The document outlined the foreign policy principles, priority directions, and areas of foreign policy activities. During the first five years, strategic plans in the sphere of foreign policy included a small number of current priorities; however, since 1997, conceptual foreign policy documents have been developed and corrected in accordance with the long-term priorities specified in the addresses of the president of Kazakhstan and national security policy documents. A separate correction and amendments were made on the basis of the five-year national security strategy for 1999–2005. It was the year 1999 when security development became systematic. The document addressed security comprehensively and distinguished its six main areas: external security, military security, economic security, social and political security, environmental security, and information security—that is, the focus was on the priority of foreign policy activities in national security protection. The foreign policy was charged with a task to initiate stability of the strategic parity being established around Kazakhstan, which would meet the country’s long-term geopolitical interests. By the end of the 1990s, it was recognized that economic selfsufficiency had been established and the financial system had become independent, stable, and modern. The diplomacy of Kazakhstan was challenged to be as close to the geopolitical realities of the modern world as possible, as well as to be more economized. It was crucial “not only to assist the inflow of foreign direct investments to Kazakhstan and the development of its trade and economic relations, but also to carry out a kind of expertise of the global economic trends from the perspective of our country.”2 The Foreign Policy Concept of 20013 “The Foreign Policy Concept Needs to Be Adapted to the Current Conditions”—that was the title of a keynote speech of Nursultan Nazarbayev at the extended session of the board of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2000, which was indicative of the reconsideration of Kazakhstan’s prospects in the global community in the twenty-first century. In 2000, within the framework of the UN, there was presented a new initiative of President Nazarbayev—the “globalization model,” aimed at neutralizing possible negative manifestations of globalization. Such model could “serve the interests of all, figuratively speaking, disadvantaged countries to the greatest possible extent” and be more reasonable for the majority of the population of developed countries, as differentiation of population therein will inevitably become intensified.4

Republic of Kazakhstan


At a session of the Security Council of Kazakhstan on March 15, 2001, the minister of foreign affairs, Erlan Idrisov, introduced Kazakhstan’s foreign policy concept as an integral part of the national security concept. The foreign policy concept set out foreign policy priorities, implementation of which was based on multidimensional diplomacy and foreign policy economization. The strategy for external economic relations included the following directions: the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) (saving and securing the economic union with Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Uzbekistan, and other countries of the Commonwealth); and the Asia Pacific Roundtable (APR) (China, South Korea, Japan, and other countries of Southeast Asia). The most important sphere was stated to be multilateral cooperation within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and Conference on Interaction and ConfidenceBuilding Measures in Asia (CICA), as well as development of integration processes, primarily within the framework of the Shanghai Five (of the SCO), and establishment of the Central Asian Economic Union. Bilateral cooperation was considered to be of secondary importance in the document. The major priorities from the political point of view were said to be the neighboring states: Russia, China, CIS countries, as well as the United States, the European Union (EU), Japan, India, Turkey, and Iran. Cooperation with the countries of the Arab East and Western Asia was important for Kazakhstan for the purposes of attracting investments to the country’s economy. In Europe, the priority was given to Germany. Large-scale collaboration was believed to be possible due to the significant German diaspora. In 1989, about 950,000 ethnic Germans (about 6 percent of the population) lived in the territory of Kazakhstan. According to official data, 800,000 of them left to West Germany. The considerable importance of the German diaspora was emphasized by Nazarbayev during the visit of the chancellor of Germany, Helmut Kohl, to Kazakhstan in May 1997.

Attention was mainly focused on the United States as the world’s major economy. As a part of the commitment to foreign policy economization, it was intended, on the one hand, to facilitate the access of Kazakh products to the global market and, on the other hand, to attract foreign investments to such sectors of the Kazakh economy as mechanical engineering, infrastructure, and agriculture. The foreign policy was charged with additional modernization tasks according to the strategic plan for development of Kazakhstan (December 4, 2001).


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Evolution of Priorities and International Initiatives, 2002–20135

Starting from 2002, the period of Kazakhstan’s high activity in the international arena commenced and various international initiatives were proposed by the country. Implementation of the CICA convocation initiative was launched, and cooperation within the framework of the OSCE grew rapidly, with Kazakhstan assuming the chairmanship of the OSCE in 2010. During the same years, Kazakhstan proposed to sign a stability pact on the Caspian Sea, associated with a refusal to use military force in the Caspian Sea region. Kazakhstan drew the attention of the OSCE to this idea, believing that the organization might play an important role for ensuring security in the Caspian Sea region. In 2005–2006, the strategic directions and goals of the foreign policy course of Kazakhstan were significantly refocused. New priorities were set by the addresses of President Nazarbayev to the people of Kazakhstan: “Kazakhstan on Its Way Towards an Accelerated Economic, Social, and Political Modernization” (February 18, 2005), “Strategy of Inclusion of Kazakhstan to 50 Most Competitive Countries of the World,” “Kazakhstan on the Verge of a New Development Breakthrough” (March 1, 2006), as well as the national security strategy for 2006–2010. In 2006, the aim was to integrate Kazakhstan into the global economy by its active participation in regional and international economic unions and associations. In 2005, the country’s strategic interests included joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), especially since the EU, Russia, Switzerland, and China had become the leaders of Kazakhstan’s structure of commodity circulation in 2004–2005. Moreover, the nearest neighbors—China and Kyrgyzstan—had already been members of the WTO, and the Russian Federation had been preparing for joining it. The foreign policy was aimed at the projects of the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Asian Development Bank, and the Eurasian Development Bank. In 2005, a regional security issue suddenly became acute. The threats created by international terrorism and religious extremism were especially urgent. Kazakhstan declared its readiness for a new level of coordination of actions and activities of all the states in the region and interested parties in countering international terrorism. Such declarations were supported by participation of a Kazakh bomb squad in an antiterror coalition whose aim was to stabilize the situation in Iraq. In 2005, the foreign policy of Kazakhstan started to focus on Russia, China, the United States, and the EU, and set a task for developing expanded cooperation with them was set. The country priorities were to remain unchanged until 2014, when they were to be joined by Central Asia.

Republic of Kazakhstan


In Europe, the priorities of the foreign policy of Kazakhstan were also corrected. Now, instead of the list of European states most important for cooperation, only the EU was specified. In 2005–2006, Kazakhstan was reoriented from integration in Central Asia to a wider integration in the Eurasian region. Development of relations with the countries of the Islamic world in Asia and the Middle East became more important. The policymakers of Kazakhstan pragmatically tried to diversify the country’s relations by reaching out to the states of the Arab and Turkic–speaking world and the Indian subcontinent (primarily Turkey and Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and India and Pakistan). In October 2008, for the first time in Astana, a ministerial conference on “The Common World: Progress Through Diversity” was held with participation of foreign ministers of Western countries and countries of the Islamic world. In March 2010, a permanent mission of Kazakhstan to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) was established, and during the chairmanship of Kazakhstan (2011–2012) it was resolved to rename the OIC as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and establish a human rights commission. For the first time, an action plan for cooperation of the OIC with Central Asia was developed. Nazarbayev noted that during the years of independence, Kazakhstan became a full member of the global community, the initiatives of which were nearly always widely supported and implemented in practice. The global economic crisis, expansion of international terrorism, and other factors made it necessary to correct the course of foreign policy. When speaking at the extended session of the board of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on November 19, 2008, the country’s president proposed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs develop a new foreign policy concept for Kazakhstan and to present it for approval during the first six months of 2009. However, this process was delayed, and the concept was developed much later, in the beginning of 2014. The Foreign Policy Concept for 2014–20206

The foreign policy concept of Kazakhstan for 2014–2020 was developed based on the philosophies declared in December 2012 by the president of Kazakhstan in his address to the people of Kazakhstan called “Kazakhstan2050 Strategy: A New Political Course of the Established State.” The strategy provides for the long-term objective aimed at including Kazakhstan to the thirty most developed countries of the world. Consequently, the foreign policy of Kazakhstan requires modernization and promotion of national interests based on the principles of pragmatism and with consideration of a number of internal and external factors.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

According to the minister of foreign affairs of Kazakhstan, Erlan Idrisov, the peculiarity of the new concept of 2014 is that it became public, since it had been developed with the participation of experts and with consideration of the public opinion. Among the functional aspects of the foreign policy, the focus is on the economic factor, since the economic development formula was selected as the country’s first development priority, and a “new policy economization standard” was set. According to the minister of foreign affairs, Kazakhstan should attract modern technologies and knowledge through investments, specifically investments to specific sectors corresponding to the long-term development plans. Not just foreign education, but education in the spheres advancing the attainment of the Strategy-2050 goals. One of the main tasks of the foreign policy has been the phased transition to the green economy within the country, including holding of the international EXPO-2017 exhibition. Similarly, there has been set a task to promote the initiatives in the sphere A new provision of the foreign of an environmentally sustainable policy concept of Kazakhstan is power supply, including the global the development of economic and ecological energy strategy. commercial diplomacy, the task of Considering the new approaches which is to provide a diplomatic in foreign policy (pragmatism, scienmeans of promotion, expansion, tific substantiation, and economic and protection of the Kazakh busiinterests), ecological aspects are ness and export products in new and traditional global markets. placed among the overarching priorities, and they are primarily related to the issues of the Caspian Sea, Aral Sea, and transboundary rivers. The priority of Central Asia is emphasized. Development of multidimensional relations with Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan will be focused on joining their efforts for a coordinated counteraction of internal and external challenges and threats. Russia and China still remain the country’s foreign policy priorities, but relations with them become much wider. Eurasian economic integration is the priority of the foreign policy course. Relations with the West are multidimensional. Strengthening of the strategic partnership with Europe and the United States is still being continued. Kazakhstan remains focused on further development of mutually beneficial cooperation with the countries playing an important role in the system of political, economic, and transit transport interests of Kazakhstan (Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova), as well as the South Caucasus states (Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia). The strategy is also focused on strengthening comprehensive cooperation with Turkey. Cooperation with Iran is based on shared interests in the spheres of business, trade, transport, and transit, as well as on ensuring stability on the Caspian Sea.

Republic of Kazakhstan


Kazakhstan intends to strengthen the Asian vector of its foreign policy and to activate trade, economic, investment, and technological cooperation with the countries of Eastern, Southern, and Southeast Asia, the Asia Pacific region, and regional associations. For example, cooperation with Japan and South Korea will be focused on attracting advanced technologies to Kazakhstan, introducing energy and water-efficient technologies to the country, and strengthening the dialogues between Central Asia and Japan, and between Central Asia and South Korea. Kazakhstan is interested in sustainable development of the Middle and Near East states and seeks to build partner relations with them. A new aspect of the foreign policy of Kazakhstan is the expansion of the geographical spread of relations with the countries of Central and Latin America, and of the African continent. The Foreign Policy Mechanism7

The foreign policy process is carried out in accordance with the standards of the 1995 constitution of Kazakhstan, presidential decrees, legal acts and regulations, as well as the rules of international law and international agreements signed with foreign states and organizations. Since the constitution defines Kazakhstan as a unitary state with a presidential form of government (Article 2), the president is the head of the state. The national agency of foreign relations (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) falls within the direct competence of the president. The president determines the main areas of the country’s foreign policy and represents Kazakhstan in its international relations, and appoints and dismisses the minister of foreign affairs and heads of diplomatic missions of Kazakhstan abroad (Article 40, par. 1). At the session of the board of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in September 1996, Nazarbayev stressed that foreign policy is the president’s policy. A large number of policies may not be possible in any self-respecting state, just as an independent foreign policy of various agencies is not possible. The foreign policy activities carried out by the head of the state are being supported by the presidential administration according to the Regulation on the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Kazakhstan (dated March 11, 2008, and December 28, 2010), and the constitution. The governing structure of the presidential administration includes the secretary of state of Kazakhstan, responsible for development of proposals for the president with regard to the main areas of domestic and foreign policies. The secretary of state accepts diplomatic credentials from ambassadors of the foreign states with concurrent accreditation in Kazakhstan.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Structural subdivisions of the administration include the Foreign Policy Center (FPC) supporting international activities performed by the head of the state. The center’s operation is coordinated and regulated by an adviser to the president of Kazakhstan—chief of the FPC. There are a number of boards and commissions functioning at the presidential administration, and their functions also include support of international activities of Kazakhstan, such as a commission on issues of nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, working under the president of Kazakhstan; and the Council of Foreign Investors. The Council of Foreign Investors, established in 1998, is an advisory board under the president of Kazakhstan, who chairs the council. The working body is the Investments Committee of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The coordinator is the Kazakhstan Foreign Investors Council.

The Security Council of Kazakhstan prepares its suggestions and conceptual developments for the president within the powers granted to the Security Council. According to the constitution of Kazakhstan (Article 44, par. 20) and the presidential decree of Kazakhstan dated March 20, 1999, the Security Council approved regulation on itself. Foreign policy concepts and other conceptual documents related to international and foreign policy activities are approved during sessions of the Security Council. A two-chamber parliament (the Senate and the Majilis), being the supreme representative body of Kazakhstan, performs legislative work within its constitutional powers. Such work relates to ratification and denouncement of international agreements and alignment of internal legislation with the international obligations of Kazakhstan. Foreign policy issues are consistently considered at a separate session of the chambers, first in the Majilis and then in the Senate. At a joint session of the chambers of the parliament, issues of war and peace are resolved; decisions about the use of the republic’s armed services are taken on the proposal of the republic’s president for fulfillment of international obligations related to establishment of peace and security (Article 53). The parliament introduces diplomatic ranks of the republic, resolves issues of government loans (and provision by the republic of economic and other help), and ratifies and denounces international agreements.

Every chamber has its own field of international activity. KassymJomart Tokaev, the chairman of the Senate, being a professional diplomat, carries out extensive work related to interparliamentary and international activities of the Senate.

Republic of Kazakhstan


Members of the Senate particiOver ten years (1994–1999, 2002– pate in international parliamentary 2007), Kassym-Jomart Tokaev was organizations and groups for coopminister of foreign affairs of eration of the parliament’s Senate Kazakhstan. From 2011 to 2013 with parliaments of foreign states: he was a deputy secretary-general the Parliamentary Assembly of the of the UN director general at the UN’s Geneva office. OSCE, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the Interparliamentary Assembly of Member Nations of the CIS, and the Parliamentary Assembly of the CSTO. There are also standing commissions working in the spheres of political issues and international cooperation, as well as defense and security. Nine parliamentary groups of the Senate carry out international activity with the Asian Parliamentary Assembly, the Parliamentary Union of the OIC, the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians for Population and Development, the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-Speaking Countries, and the Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. The Senate of Kazakhstan includes commissions for parliamentary cooperation with the Russian Federation, Belarus, countries of South and Central Asia and the Caucasus, countries of Western and Central Europe including France, countries of the Middle East including Turkey, countries of Africa, countries of South and North America, countries of East and Southeast Asia, Australia, and countries of Oceania.

The Majilis of Kazakhstan includes a committee on foreign affairs, defense, and security. Foreign policy issues play an important role in the work of the Constitutional Council, which is the country’s supreme government body. The Council reviews whether international agreements of the republic comply with the constitution, before their ratification (Article 72, par. 3). The government manages the activities of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and other specialized ministries and agencies carrying out foreign policy and foreign economic activities. The Diplomatic Service8

After claiming the sovereignty of Kazakhstan in 1991, the republic faced the challenge of establishment of its own foreign service. The first regulation on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was approved in July 1992.9 It was stressed that the activity of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs associated with


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

foreign policy implementation was carried out under direct supervision of the president. The regulation expressly defined the functions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and well as its structure and personnel, career pattern, vacancy-filling procedure, diplomatic-ranks assigning procedure, and issues of remuneration and financial and logistical support. Regulations on embassy and ambassadorial duties were prepared and approved the same year.10 In 1997 a law on diplomatic service was adopted,11 and in February 2000 it was amended by inclusion by the state of the main professional and ethical requirements for diplomats.12 In 1992, Kazakhstan joined the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, and in 1993 the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Special functions in the sphere of carrying out the foreign policy course of Kazakhstan were assigned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The regulation on the ministry was approved in October 2004.13 The special and crucial role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in foreign policy was highlighted by Nazarbayev during his speech at an expanded board of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1998: “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be a coordinator of all international campaigns pursued by our country. No agency may take any actions without its prior approval, including sending documents to the head of the state for signing. Any documents that address the issues of the Kazakhstan’s foreign policy to any extent must be preapproved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”14 The system of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs includes the central bodies, diplomatic missions and consular establishments abroad, representative offices of Kazakhstan within international (intergovernmental, interstate) structures, as well as subordinate enterprises, institutions, and organizations established for supporting the ministry’s affairs. A specialized educational institution providing training of diplomats is the Diplomacy Institute of the Academy of Public Administration, under the president of Kazakhstan. It provides specialized diplomatic education on the basis of already attained higher education and prepares foreign affairs experts in the spheres of international relations, law, political science, management, business administration, and journalism.

The diplomatic service of Kazakhstan established following independence as constituting the activity of a small group of diplomats has undergone a difficult process of formation as a government establishment responsible for the country’s foreign policy. Currently, the republic has an appropriate legal framework for diplomatic activity supported by a number of fundamental documents, while the work force capacity of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also been significantly strengthened.

Republic of Kazakhstan


Kazakhstan is officially recognized by 139 countries and has established diplomatic relations with 105 of them. There are more than fifty operating foreign embassies and representative offices of international organizations in the republic. Diplomatic missions of Kazakhstan have been opened in forty countries of the world (see Appendix 11).

Foreign Policy Priorities Eurasian Integration15

Even the first doctrinal documents specified the CIS as an important foreign policy goal for Kazakhstan. At the first stage, there was a need for economic cooperation, efficient sectoral cooperation, and development of information and cultural exchange. According to President Nazarbayev, the idea of the CIS was saved to a large extent due to the constructive stand of Kazakhstan. However, since the coming into existence of the Commonwealth, a need for its revitalization has emerged. On March 29, 1994, during his speech at Lomonosov Moscow State University, Nazarbayev announced an initiative of establishing the Eurasian Union. The essence of the idea consisted in a “voluntary and equal integration, joint political and economic development of the post-Soviet states, [and] general advancement of the CIS countries to strong positions in the global world.”16 The model of “multi-level and multi-speed integration based on economic expediency and provision of internal and external security of the member states” suggested at that time has been reflected by the interstate associations being formed. Today, it may safely be said that the Eurasian idea suggested by Nazarbayev more than two decades ago not only remains relevant, but also receives wide support and is being realized.

In 1996, on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of Kazakhstan, Nazarbayev spoke about the expediency of integration in the Central Asian region, too. In the 1990s, conceptual documents of Kazakhstan defended the pursuit of implementing two main integration initiatives: to form the Eurasian Union and to form the Union of Central Asian States. This topic was consistently developed in works of Nazarbayev: “The Eurasian Union: Ideas, Practice, and Prospects”; “Strategy for Transformation of the Society and Revival of the Eurasian Civilization”; “On the Threshold of the 21st Century”; and the like. In the beginning of the 2000s, a union of Central Asian states was viewed from the perspective of stability, the region’s progress and economic, military, and political independence, as well as in the context of countering the threats of globalization (including the Tulip Revolution in


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Kyrgyzstan in 2005). Gradually, the initiative integration line of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy in Central Asia changed direction. Already in 2006, Nazarbayev, when speaking of the integration idea, meant a wider integration in the Eurasian space. After some time, the Central Asia integration project was downgraded on the list of priorities in the official documents. In January 2010, Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, being members of the Eurasian Economic Community, formed the Customs Union. On November 18, 2011, in Moscow, Nazarbayev, president of Kazakhstan; Dmitry Medvedev, president of the Russian Federation; and Alexander Lukashenko, president of Belarus, signed documents on establishment of the Common Free Market Zone (CFMZ), which were crucial for integration. The Eurasian Economic Union, which started its work on January 1, 2015, became a new integration project of three member states of the CFMZ, joined later by Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. Today, the Eurasian idea of President Nazarbayev is becoming reality in three integration dimensions at the regional level: economic, humanitarian, and military and political. At this stage, the priority in Eurasian integration is given more to the economic aspect than to the political one. The Eurasian Economic Union has an exceptionally economic nature, which is only logical since the goals of the Eurasian integration were once strictly economic. Speaking about the military and Nazarbayev’s idea to establish the United Eurasian Economic Zone political dimension of European was further developed and repreintegration, Kazakhstan actively sented as the idea of establishing promotes integration policy in the the “Big Eurasia,” designed to region, which, in addition to crebring together the Eurasian Ecoation of the common economic nomic Union (EAEU), the Silk space, is inconceivable without a Road Economic Belt, and the system of collective security. CoopEuropean Union into an integration project. According to the eration aimed at providing security president of Kazakhstan, it will in the region takes place within a bring benefits to many countries number of multilateral institutions, and reduce transit from the Asia including the CSTO and the SCO. Pacific region to Europe. For Kazakhstan, participation in SCO activities is also one of the key issues of its multivector foreign policy. This union is the most acceptable tool for integrating China into the regional security system, which obviously is quite important for Kazakhstan. Provision of Regional and International Security17

Countering security threats is among the priorities of the country’s foreign policy course. At the regional level, key threats are still international terror-

Republic of Kazakhstan


ism and illicit traffic of drugs. At the global level, Kazakhstan successfully implements a policy in the area of disarmament and nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction and acts as an active mediator in resolving international conflicts. Kazakhstan has joined all the In December 2003, an AntiTerrorism Center was established international universal conventions at the National Security Commiton suppression of terrorism and tee of Kazakhstan. In June 2013, actively participates in the projects of its status was raised to the Antithe International Counter-Terrorism Terrorism Center of Kazakhstan. Coalition. To prevent manifestations of extremism, Kazakh authorities have begun to monitor Islamic congregations. The state has also begun to regulate activities of religious and, primarily, missionary organizations. In October 2006, the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan recognized the following international organizations as terrorist organizations and prohibited their activities within the territory of Kazakhstan: al-Qaeda, the Islamic Party of Eastern Turkistan, the People’s Congress of Kurdistan, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Asbat al-Ansar, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Taliban, Boz Gurd, Jamaat Mujahideen Central Asia, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the Social Reforms Society. Later, a resolution of the court of Astana prohibited the activities of Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami, Aum Shinrikyo, and the East Turkistan Liberation Organization. The list of prohibited organizations also included Ata Zholy, Allya-Ayat, and the Church of Scientology of Karaganda.

Kazakhstan fully complies with the requirements of UN Security Council Resolution 1373 (September 2001) concerning counterterrorism measures, and annually submits a national progress report to the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee. From the first days of its independence, Kazakhstan has been not just among the active partners in international counterterrorism efforts, but also an initiator of unification of the countries in that stand. Great emphasis is placed on regional cooperation within the framework of the Anti-Terrorism Center of the CIS, the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of the SCO, the CSTO, and the CICA. Joint antiterrorism measures are being taken regularly under the 1999 Global Counter-Terrorism Cooperation Contract in the territory of the CIS countries. Antiterrorism drills are also being regularly conducted in the territory of Kazakhstan by SCO and CSTO countries with direct administrative support provided by the office of Anti-Terrorism Center of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan ratified an agreement on training of specialists for antiterrorist formations of the SCO in 2011.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

In April 2002, in Almaty, the second stage of the complex tactical and operational exercises South Antiterror–2002 were conducted under the guidance of the CIS Anti-Terrorism Center. The functioning mechanism of the CIS Anti-Terrorism Center also underwent serious testing in the process of large-scale joint drills of special services and security agencies called Caspian Antiterror–2005, conducted in the territory of Kazakhstan in August 2005. Issues of neutralizing terrorists at ecologically dangerous facilities were addressed during a joint strategic command-post exercise, Baikonur Antiterror–2007 (September 2007). Among active participants of the Zhetysu Antiterror–2014 exercises conducted in the vicinity of Almaty in August 2014 were both soldiers and management of security bodies, special services, and law enforcement agencies of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.

One of the most serious challenges is the distribution of drugs. Kazakhstan has ratified the main conventions of the UN in this sphere: the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961; Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971; Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988; European Convention on Laundering; Search; and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime of 1990; and Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime of 2000. The republic actively participates in implementing measures taken by the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs, which defines the drug control policy of the international community. Kazakhstan was twice elected as a member of that commission (2000–2003 and 2006–2008). Kazakhstan became a party to thirty-four international agreements made to consolidate counternarcotic efforts, including seven multilateral agreements with the CIS, Europe, Chuy Valley, located in the terriBaltic states, the United States, tory of Kyrgyzstan, and the JamIndia, and other countries. Kazakhbyl region of Kazakhstan, are site stan advocates strengthening of to mass growing of wild hemp existing and creation of new anticontaining narcotic substances. narcotic security belts, supports Annually, from July 1 through implementation in the CIS and CenSeptember 30, the large-scale tral Asia region of programs created operation Koknar aimed at liquidation of the drug production takby the UN Office on Drugs and ing place in Kazakhstan. Crime, including programs to control drug trafficking in the states bordering Afghanistan. Kazakhstan supports development of a multilateral process under the Paris Pact on Suppression of Drug Trafficking Routes from Central Asia to Europe. Joint drills conducted by the CSTO member states are an important factor in combating illicit drug trafficking, which became one of the priorities of the activities carried out by Kazakhstan as chair of the OSCE in

Republic of Kazakhstan


An important role in the structure of counternarcotic actions is played by the CSTO’s Member States Coordinating Council of Heads of Competent Bodies for Countering Drug Trafficking, which in essence became an international anti-drug-trafficking command center for the whole of Eurasian space.

2010. As suggested by Kazakhstan, a special conference on counterterrorism and counternarcotic actions was held in Vienna on July 8–9, 2010. From the moment of its independence, Kazakhstan expressed its desire of becoming a state free of nuclear weapons and of destroying the nuclear materials located in its territory. In 1991, Kazakhstan had 1,040 strategic nuclear warheads for 104 SS-18 intercontinental ballistic missiles and 370 warheads for cruise missiles that had entered into service with 40 ТУ-95 heavy bombers. The nuclear arsenal at the time exceeded the stock of Great Britain, France, and China combined.

In 1993, Kazakhstan rejected nuclear weapons. The Semipalatinsk test site was closed earlier, in 1991. The Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, with a total area of 18,000 square kilometers and located near Kurchatov of the East Kazakhstan region, was one of the two nuclear test sites of the Soviet Union during the period 1946–1989, when 752 nuclear explosions were detonated at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site: 26 in the atmosphere, 78 on the ground, and the rest of them underground. The last explosion was detonated October 19, 1989.

In 1991, heads of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine agreed in the Almaty Declaration on a joint control mechanism over the operation of the former Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal. On May 23, 1992, in Lisbon, representatives of these countries and the United States signed a five-party protocol that clarified their areas of responsibility for implementing the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions (the START I Treaty) with regard to the strategic nuclear forces located in the four states. The Lisbon Protocol also stipulated the obligations of Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as non–nuclear weapons states. On December 5, 1994, during the OSCE’s Budapest summit, Russia, the United States, and Great Britain signed a memorandum on provision of security assurances to Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Ukraine in connection with their signing of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. On February 14, 1994, Kazakhstan became a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). All nuclear sites were submitted to the guaranties of the IAEA, and


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

all nuclear activities of Kazakhstan were then performed in accordance with the rules and standards of the agency. In July 2005, Kazakhstan joined the Proliferation Security Initiative (also known as the Cracow Initiative), aimed at counterproliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Kazakhstan was one of the first states that joined the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, launched by the presidents of Russia and the United States in July 2006. A third meeting within the framework of implementation of this initiative was held in Astana on June 11–12, 2007. On September 8, 2006, heads of foreign policy establishments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan met in Kazakhstan and signed a treaty on creation of a zone free of nuclear weapons in Central Asia. All of this is in line with the principle of peaceful resolution of international disputes gaining momentum in the foreign policy of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan undertook mediation efforts to resolve a military conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh between Azerbaijan and Armenia and to settle a dispute regarding the Kashmir issue during the flare-up between Pakistan and India, in the Middle East peacemaking process (between Israel and Palestine), and recently in the conflicts between Russia and Ukraine and between Russia and Turkey, as well as during the crisis in Syria.

In recent years, Almaty has held negotiations of six international mediators for the nuclear program of Iran. As well, at the seventieth session of the General Assembly of the UN in September 2015, President Nazarbayev put forward an initiative for international support of Syria and establishment of a broad antiterrorism coalition. The negotiations between representatives of the government of Syria and the opposition aimed at peaceful settlement of the Syrian conflict with participation of ceasefire guarantors—the Russian Federation, Turkey, and Iran—were held in two stages: January 23–24 and February 15–16, 2017, in Astana. The negotiation process in the capital of Kazakhstan will be continued. Cooperation on the Caspian Sea18

For Kazakhstan, just like for other countries bordering the Caspian Sea— Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan—the Caspian Sea region is important not only due to its rich resources, but also from the perspective of creating a sustainable social and economic development zone and forming a joint approach to ecological problems. External actors (the United States, the EU, Turkey, China, etc.) are deeply interested in developing energy transport corridors in the Caspian Sea region and are trying to attain control over them.

Republic of Kazakhstan


According to estimates of the British oil and gas company British Petroleum, proven reserves of oil in the Caspian Sea region are about 30 billion tons, or 19 percent of the world’s proven reserves of oil, while proven reserves of natural gas are about 145 trillion cubic meters, or 45 percent of the world’s proven reserves of natural gas. According to estimates of the Russian company Lukoil, by 2021–2024, extraction of oil in the Caspian Sea region may reach 200 million tons per year, and extraction of natural gas may reach 270 billion cubic meters.

The Caspian Sea is rich in unique biological resources, including fish (2.9 million tons). Ninety percent of the world’s supply of sturgeon, equally important for consumption and export, and highly valued caviar, are concentrated there. Formation of the geopolitical environment in the Caspian Sea and mutual relations among the riparian states continue to be affected by the uncertainty over the legal status of the Caspian Sea. This issue includes such aspect as division of its seabed and water area and the associated problems related to subsurface management, ecology, conservation of bioresources, and the like. Kazakhstan participates in the five-sided format of the Special Working Group for Development of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea, established in 1996. Kazakhstan’s position with regard to the legal status of the Caspian Sea acknowledges the need to refer to the provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, dated 1982, stipulating the regimes and width of various sea sectors. The strategic goal of Kazakhstan was to determine national sea borders and divide the seabed for safeguarding its sovereign rights to develop mineral resources along its median line. Kazakhstan advocated the right to independently develop and exploit resources within its area of the Caspian Sea, and proposed to divide the Caspian Sea into territorial waters, the fishing area, and the joint water area. Having supported the division of the seabed and subsoil of the Caspian Sea into national sectors based on the medianline principle, Kazakhstan officially claimed its rights to its sector of the Caspian Sea.19 Kazakhstan and Russia signed an agreement on the demarcation of the seabed in the northern part of the Caspian Sea (1998) and a declaration of cooperation on the Caspian Sea (2000). In 2001, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan signed an agreement on demarcation of the seabed in the Caspian Sea region into national sectors. The issue of the sea border with Turkmenistan remains unresolved. At the level of bilateral consultations with Iran on the issues of cooperation in the Caspian Sea region, Kazakhstan does not support Iran’s position of the “so-called fair principle of dividing the Caspian Sea into five equal parts” due to the fact that such approach contradicts the principles of international law.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

One of the main regional cooperation tools regarding these issues has been the many-sided summits held by heads of the Caspian-bordering countries. Five summits of the Caspian Five (Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan) have been held. The first Caspian Summit took place in 2002 in Ashgabat. In 2007, during the second Caspian Summit, the final declaration on the need for joint development and adoption of a convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea was signed in Tehran. In 2010, in Baku, during the third Caspian Summit, heads of state resolved to agree on the width of the national zone, and an agreement on security cooperation was signed. At the fourth Caspian Summit, in August 2014, heads of state agreed on the principles of national sovereignty of each country over the coastal water body. A convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea was finally signed at the fifth Caspian Summit, in Aktau (Kazakhstan) on August 12, 2018, by the presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iran, and Turkmenistan.

In 2003, the Framework Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea from Pollution was signed in Tehran. The convention covered the issues of protection, conservation, restoration, and sustainable and rational use of biological resources of the sea. In 2011 and 2012, the Protocol Concerning Regional Preparedness, Response, and Cooperation in Combating Oil Pollution Incidents, and the Protocol for the Protection of the Caspian Sea Against Pollution from Land-Based Sources and Activities, were signed; in August 2014, the Agreement on the Conservation and Rational Use of Water Biological Resources of the Caspian Sea was signed. Water Supply Problem20

Countries of Central Asia are to a large extent hydrologically interdependent. In the 1970s, the huge Toktogul Reservoir in Kyrgyzstan was used to accumulate irrigation water and to maintain the water supply balance during dry and wet seasons in Uzbekistan and southern Kazakhstan. In the Soviet period, about three-quarters of water releases were carried out during summer months and one-quarter during winter. The electricity produced from releases of such water was exported, while Kyrgyzstan was receiving in exchange gas from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, which allowed it to be supplied with energy during the winter period. Following independence, such cooperation was terminated. After liberalization of markets, electricity trading was commercialized. Volumes of winter water releases from the Toktogul Reservoir were increased in order to produce energy, reducing thereby the volume of water available for irri-

Republic of Kazakhstan


gation of fields in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan during summer. In the 1990s, the volume of summer water releases was reduced by half, resulting in severe shortages of water for irrigation. Negotiations on the joint use of water and energy resources started in 1992, but almost no visible results were achieved. Despite the fact that the states located both downstream and upstream recognized that the content of the reservoir is an economic service and that there is a strong need to develop a program of barter supplies of hydroelectric power and fuel, it turned out to be quite challenging to achieve agreement upon prices and volumes. In 2003 and 2004, the governments could not agree even on minimal annual plans. The inability to reach an agreement resulted in a loss for all the parties. It forced the countries to start developing alternative infrastructure options known to be less profitable that might result in large economic losses in the future. Obviously, efficient management of transboundary water resources requires a constructive dialogue and negotiations. In March 2013, Kazakhstan established a Committee for Water Resources under the Ministry of Environmental Protection. In terms of water supply per capita, Kazakhstan takes the last place among the CIS countries. The lack and improper use of freshwater resources pose a serious challenge to the country’s sustainable development and environmental protection.

Intensive and irrational development of irrigation agriculture, as well as the regulation of runoff in arid climatic conditions, resulted in a water deficit in basins of large and small rivers, including Ili, Syr Darya, and Ishim. The Aral Sea has disappeared, and the same is expected to happen to Lake Balkhash. The republic needs 100 cubic kilometers of water per year; currently the water supply is 35 cubic kilometers. Interstate cooperation is being arranged, and investments are being attracted to the water sector. There has been signed an agreement between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan for the use of water management facilities on the Shu and Talas Rivers. At sessions of the Interstate Commission for Water Management, the operation modes of the reservoirs cascades and water withdrawal limits in the Amudarya and Syrdarya basins have been approved. In 2000, an intergovernmental agreement between Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan for the use of water and energy resources of the Naryn-Syrdarya reservoir cascade was signed. With regard to the basin of the Ural River, a plan of distribution of the flood runoff of the Bolshoy Uzen and Malyi Uzen Rivers was agreed upon and approved by a working group of Russia and Kazakhstan. A contract for water supply from the


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Saratov channel and the Pallasovka water supply and irrigation system has been concluded, and the issues regarding attraction of additional water volumes to be supplied to Astana are being worked out. However, it is strongly required that the states in the region coordinate their efforts on the basis of the accumulated international experience of sharing the transboundary water resources (basins of the Mekong, Jordan, and La Grande Rivers), including the need for signing the Water and Energy Pact of the Central Asian countries, stipulating the principles for division of shared surface and groundwater resources. There are four principles for division of shared surface and groundwater resources: hydrogeological, demographical, socioeconomic, and “expansionistic.” The hydrogeological and demographical principles of water division are more suitable for the Central Asian countries, as they correspond to their attitude and the accumulated historical experience. A share of each state is determined by the volume of surface and groundwater resources, the number of population and its growth, as well as the role played by the state in management of the shared water resources.

It is necessary to launch a single financial mechanism (the Central Asian Development Bank), a single regulatory environment, and agricultural cooperation and specialization in the region, as well as to introduce market mechanisms of water apportioning by establishing a water bank of the Central Asian region to determine and calculate the commodity value of water. On September 2, 2006, an informal summit with the participation of the presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan took place in Astana. One of the summit’s topical issues was further discussion of the process for establishing an international water and energy consortium to solve the problems of rational use of the region’s hydropower resources. The problem of water supply in Central Asia is also related to the transboundary rivers that have their source in China. With the intensified economic activities in China, withdrawal of water from such rivers is increasing. Economic Diplomacy21

Economic diplomacy plays an important role in Kazakhstan’s foreign policy. For the purposes of joining the global economic system, Kazakhstan maintains cooperation with such international organizations as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), WTO, and EU; with such international and regional financial organizations as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Asian Development Bank, and Asian

Republic of Kazakhstan


Infrastructure Investment Bank; as well as with energy and transportation organizations such as the Energy Charter, International Energy Agency (IEA), Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia (TRACECA). Kazakhstan is the first non-OECD country that was included to the management structure of the OECD program. In the period 2013–2015, the republic had a status of a cochair of the Management Committee of the Central Asian Initiative of the Eurasian Competitiveness Program. In 2011, an agreement on implementation of the project Participation of Foreign Direct Investments in Small and Medium Enterprise Development, between the government of Kazakhstan and the OECD, was signed. The OECD Council adopted a resolution on inviting Kazakhstan to participate in the work of the Investments Committee and join the Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises.

Work with international financial institutions is being continued. In the context of regional integration, the World Bank’s Central Asia EnergyWater Development Program is of great interest. Starting from 1992, the total volume of lending provided by the World Bank to Kazakhstan was more than $6.7 billion under thirty-nine loans. The current portfolio includes twelve projects. Kazakhstan actively develops cooperation with such large regional financial institutions as the Asian Development Bank. In 2009, the bank provided support to Kazakhstan in mitigating the global economic crisis by granting it a loan in the amount of $500 million. The strategy for 2012–2016 was aimed at supporting Kazakhstan in the field of economic diversification and competitive growth. The Islamic Development Bank, considering the geographical position of Central Asia and its mission in the region, concentrated most of its loans in the transport complex. The relations of Kazakhstan with such UN economic institutions as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), and United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) are also prioritized. In particular, ESCAP supports the Special UN Program for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA), established to develop mutual cooperation among Central Asian countries and to promote their integration into the global economy. In the context of cooperation between Kazakhstan and UNECE, programs supporting small and medium enterprises were developed, and multilateral international agreements on transport and transit in Central Asian countries were reached. Kazakhstan joined UNIDO in 1997.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its foreign representatives could be considered the first contact and connecting link with the foreign business community in order to increase investments and promote Kazakhstan’s export. In addition to the ministry and, particularly, its economic cooperation and international organizations departments, other important economic diplomacy actors include interdepartmental commissions for foreign economic activities under the president and the government, as well as the business community and nongovernmental organizations. To attract foreign investors, there are certain steps taken for strengthening Kazakhstan’s group of friends with participation of heads of foreign trade and economic chambers and missions, banks, audit companies, and business leaders. The institution of honorary consuls abroad is becoming more and more important. Being representatives of the business elite in their host countries, honorary consuls often make a significant contribution to the development of trade and economic relations between the countries and attraction of investments and advanced technologies to the economy of Kazakhstan. From June to September 2017, the EXPO-2017 exhibition took place in Astana with participation of more than a hundred countries and international organizations. Multivector Energy Diplomacy22

Possessing considerable hydrocarbon resources, Kazakhstan shapes its foreign policy by greatly focusing on the energy factor. Kazakhstan’s subsoil resources include about 30 billion barrels of oil, positioning it at eleventh place in the world. Among the CIS countries, it ranks second after Russia for this indicator. During the years of its development as a sovereign state, Kazakhstan has gone through several stages of formation of its energy diplomacy. At the first stage, the republic had its closest ties with Russia. Russia and Kazakhstan have a common energy infrastructure, a part of which was built back in the Soviet period. The Atyrau-Samara pipeline has long served as the only means of transportation of Caspian oil abroad. The Central Asia–Center gas pipeline makes it possible to supply gas from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to the Russian Federation; its fiftieth anniversary was celebrated in August 2017. In 2001, the new Caspian Pipeline Consortium, transporting oil from western Kazakhstan (Tengiz, Karachaganak) to Novorossiysk, was launched.

Kazakhstan also launches joint projects in the electrical energy industry (electric power systems of Kazakhstan and Russia work in parallel), in nuclear energetics (joint development of uranium deposits in Kazakhstan), and in the oil and gas industry (transit of oil through the territory of Russia,

Republic of Kazakhstan


purchases and marketing of natural gas from Kazakhstan to the third markets, implementation of joint projects aimed at development of hydrocarbon resources of the north Caspian Sea region). At the second stage, the influence of the United States on Kazakhstan’s energy diplomacy increased. The first company included to Kazakhstan’s oil sector in 1993 was American—Chevron—which established the Tengizchevroil joint venture. From the end of the 1990s to the beginning of the 2000s, US energy policy abroad became more active. A construction project of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline was launched, and Kazakhstan joined the project in June 2006. At the third stage of Kazakhstan’s energy diplomacy, cooperation with China began. The first step was made in June 1997, when the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) acquired 60.3 percent of shares of Aktobemunaigas. In May 2005, the CNPC reached an agreement on acquisition of the Canadian Petro Kazakhstan Company for $4.1 billion. This transaction became the most expensive in the energy sector and demonstrated the strategic intentions of China. In 2004, during the official visit of Nazarbayev to China, an agreement for construction of the AtasuAlashankou pipeline was signed. According to official data, the share of China in oil and gas projects of Kazakhstan is about 24 percent and trends toward increasing. In 2006, the SCO member states, including Kazakhstan and China, announced formation of an Energy Club under the SCO. This idea is one of the key projects where Kazakhstan’s role may grow significantly in the nearest future. The fourth stage of Kazakhstan’s energy diplomacy is represented by its relations with EU countries. In December 1991, immediately after its independence, the republic signed the European Energy Charter. The EU provided assistance to Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries by helping them to implement the Interstate Oil and Gas Transport to Europe (INOGATE) and TRACECA programs. Nevertheless, the EU was not interested in the Central Asian region until 2007. In connection with the disputes between the Russian Federation and Ukraine in 2006, and the Russian Federation and Belarus in 2007, the EU started searching for alternative suppliers of energy resources, and the countries of the Caspian Sea region became such suppliers. Main Foreign Policy Partners The Multivector Principle and International Identity23

During the first years of its independence, Kazakhstan was facing the challenge of searching for international identity. Developing his vision of


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

foreign policy, Nazarbayev expected Kazakhstan to have equally dynamic relations with many states of the world in many areas at the same time. The decision to be focused on many countries and areas has been explained by the geographical position of Kazakhstan (at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, the largest landlocked state), and by ethnodemographical and other factors. According to Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan is a unique Asian state where European and Asian roots are interwoven. Representatives of various nations are united in their diversity. The combination of different cultures and traditions makes it possible to take the best from both European and Asian cultures. Originally, the multivector nature of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy was stated as such on December 2, 1991, when, during the press conference held after the presidential elections, President Nazarbayev said that Kazakhstan could become a bridge between Europe and Asia. In response to the question of Kazakhstan’s orientation at either the East or the West, the president replied that there was a desire to develop comprehensive (primarily economic and political) relations with all states. Kazakhstan would not be focused on the Asian continent only.

During the first years of independence, the influence of Turkey, supported by the United States, was quite significant. Turkey was viewed as a model for the Central Asian states and as a leader of new Turkic states that would bring together the whole Turkic world from Baikal to the Mediterranean Sea and Danube. At the first Istanbul summit of the leaders of Turkic states, Nazarbayev refused to sign a joint declaration prepared by the Turkish party, stating that the Central Asian states must commit themselves to the integration with Turkey due to their common historical roots, language, and cultural similarities, and single mentality. The president’s arguments were simple— Kazakhstan became a modern state in different historical conditions, and the lost relations should be restored in a civilized way, by respecting the newly found independence and cooperating as equal partners.

Western countries expressed their concerns regarding Kazakhstan’s possible rapprochement with Islamic countries by identifying itself as belonging to the Muslim world. In the complex world of interwoven national interests and policies, the CIS became an acceptable choice for Kazakhstan. It was expected that, becoming integrated within the CIS, Kazakhstan and other member states would become self-sufficient and preserve their autonomy in global politics. The republic’s policy aimed at maintaining the balance of interests affected the geostrategic interests and policy of the two immediate neighbors—Russia and China—as well as of the United States. As a new mem-

Republic of Kazakhstan


ber of the international society, Kazakhstan explained to the whole world that it had no intention to adjust itself to any of those three superpowers or intervene in their disputes, but wished to maintain good-neighborly cooperation with all of them. Nazarbayev was sure that, of all the states, those three relatively equal partners would make it possible for Kazakhstan to maintain a balance of independent relations with each of them and avoid the dominancy of any one of them. Later, when developing his vision of the foreign policy of Kazakhstan, Nazarbayev declared that the country must have a reasonable balance between Europe and Asia. According to him, Kazakhstan is not going to become a closed system. The country is destined to be a unique bridge between Asia and Europe, between the great cultures of the West and the East. The multivector nature of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy implies a reasonable and rational policy that is to be implemented by diplomatic methods. That is how it was explained by Kassym-Jomart Tokaev, minister of foreign affairs during the periods 1994–1999 and 2002–2007. A multivector foreign policy must correspond to the long-term interests of Kazakhstan to preserve enough space for a political maneuver. Kazakhstan’s interpretation of multivector foreign policy is fully based on the ideas of Eurasianism, implying multidimensional and diversified interactions of societies across the vast Eurasian continent. Relations with Russia24

In the foreign policy concept of Kazakhstan for 2014–2020, Russia is prioritized in comparison to other states: “Kazakhstan will continue the strengthening of its relations with the Russian Federation in all spheres of political, trade and economic, and cultural and humanitarian cooperation based on the Treaty of Good Neighborly Relations and Alliance in the 21st century.”25 Diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan were established on October 22, 1992. Bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and Russia and cooperation are regulated by an extensive contractual and legal framework (more than 300 contracts and agreements). The core documents are the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance, dated May 25, 1992; and the Declaration on Eternal Friendship and Alliance Towards the 21st Century, dated July 6, 1998. During the official visit of President Vladimir Putin to Kazakhstan on June 7, 2012, a protocol to amend the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance was signed. In November 2013, the presidents of the two countries signed a Treaty of Good Neighborly Relations and Alliance.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Kazakhstan’s interests in respect of Russia are based on four main factors. First, maintenance of partner relations with Russia is necessary due to the intracontinental location of Kazakhstan, as entry to the global markets is essential for Kazakhstan’s economic development. Second, Russia is one of the most important actors in the international system, carrying significant political weight and having relatively high military and technical capabilities. The Russian factor largely determines The border of Kazakhstan and Russia, with the length of more the foreign policy situation around than 7,500 kilometers, is the Kazakhstan at both the regional and longest continuous border in the global levels. world, and its boundary regime Third, Russia is a paramount largely affects cross-border comeconomic partner. It not only munication not only between the exports various products and techtwo states, but also between the nologies to Kazakhstan, but also European part of the CIS and the Central Asian region. serves as the main market outlet for Kazakhstan’s products. And fourth, both states are united by shared history and close humanitarian and cultural relations. There is a Kazakh diaspora of 740,000 people living in the territory of Russia. In Kazakhstan, Russians are the second largest ethnic group (about 30 percent of the population). In the opinion of President Nazarbayev, the strategic partnership with Russia should be developed “on the basis of the wide integration processes between our countries,”26 primarily within the framework of the EAEU and CSTO. President Vladimir Putin also characterizes relations between Russia and Kazakhstan as allied relations. Frequent visits of the two presidents to each other’s countries are indicative of the intensity of high-level political contact. A basis for cooperation between Russia and Kazakhstan in the international arena is formed by the identity or similarity of their positions with regard to the main international and regional problems. This also leads to close cooperation with regard to the most relevant issues on the international agenda in the framework of the UN and its specialized agencies, the OSCE, and other international forums. Since 2000, a new stage in relations between Russia and Kazakhstan is under way, attributed less to the change of the Russian leadership and more to the rapid economic growth in both countries. Besides, due to repeated complications between Moscow and Minsk, Astana has had the opportunity to qualify for the role of the main Russian partner in the postSoviet space. Thus, Kazakhstan has taken an active part in establishing such unions as EurAsEC and the SCO. Russia’s support of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy initiatives (CICA, Congresses of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions) is of great

Republic of Kazakhstan


importance for development of allied relations between the two countries. Russia voiced its solid support for the bid submitted by Kazakhstan to chair the OSCE in 2010 and Kazakhstan’s membership in the UN Security Council as a nonpermanent member. Relations between Russia and Kazakhstan in the economic sphere are being developed on the basis of their economic cooperation program for 2012–2020, signed in November 2011 in Astana. Their joint action plan 2016–2018, signed in October 2016, is being successfully implemented. The key area of mutual economic interaction is the fuel and energy sector. Russia leases the Baikonur complex, located in Kazakhstan. In January 2004, the lease term was extended until 2050. Based on the bilateral intergovernmental agreements signed in 2004–2005, Kazakhstan’s Baiterek rocket-launch site is being built at the Baikonur space port. The Intergovernmental Commission for Baikonur is in active operation. The roadmap activities related to joint use of the Baikonur complex for 2014–2016 were successfully implemented.

Russia and Kazakhstan effect cooperation in military and militarytechnical areas. Weapons produced in Russia are supplied to Kazakhstan, and assistance in repairs and upgrading of military equipment is being provided. Russia leases four military test sites in the territory of Kazakhstan (Emba and Sary Shagan test sites; facilities and military fields of the 4th National Central Proving Ground and the 929th State Proving Flying Centre). Kazakhstan’s military personnel are trained at Russian military training establishments. On December 24, 2013, the presidents of Russia and Kazakhstan signed an agreement on military and technical cooperation. Annual summits of inter-regional cooperation between Russia and Kazakhstan with the participation of the heads of state have become traditional. The thirteenth forum took place in Astana on October 3–4, 2016. In 1997, the Intergovernmental Commission for Cooperation started its work. Subcommissions for transport, inter-regional and cross-border cooperation, investment and banking cooperation, military and technical cooperation, and cooperation in the spheres of science and new technologies, fuel and energy, and manufacturing carry out their relevant activities. Relations with the Central Asian States27

Relations with the four Central Asian countries are among the main priorities in the multivector foreign policy of Kazakhstan. The Central Asian vector serves as one of the most important elements of the Eurasianism idea. Diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan were established on November 23, 1992. In June 1992, a Treaty of Friendship,


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance was signed. The core documents of the bilateral cooperation are the Treaty of Eternal Friendship (October 31, 1998) and the Strategic Partnership Agreement (June 14, 2013). Currently, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan possess an extensive contractual and legal framework—160 documents covering virtually all spheres of their bilateral cooperation. About fifty documents have been signed in the economic sphere, including on the issues of humanitarian cooperation and cooperation in the fields of transport, tax legislation, and legal relations. The parties have signed an agreement on establishment of a common economic area in 1995, an agreement on investment promotion and mutual protection in 1997, an economic cooperation program for 2006–2010, an economic cooperation strategy for 2007–2016, and a number of documents in the spheres of customs, banking, and the like.

The length of the common borders is 2,351 kilometers, and the countries cooperate in the spheres of both economic integration and regional safety. In September 2002, an agreement on certain areas of their shared border was signed in Astana. Until the mid-1990s, Uzbekistan took an active part in Central Asian integration projects. In particular, in July 1993 the parties agreed on coordinated economic policy measures, established a joint Central Asian Bank of Reconstruction and Development, and signed an agreement on deepening of economic integration for 1994–2000. In recent years, Kazakhstan has been among the three main trade partners of Uzbekistan. The highest bilateral trade indicator was registered in 2013, at the level of $2.6 billion. Kazakhstan exports grain, food products, energy, ferrous and nonferrous metals, and chemical products and plastic materials. Uzbekistan imports to Kazakhstan energy sources, cleaned cotton, ferrous and nonferrous metals, machines and equipment, chemical products and plastic materials, as A new railroad terminal and new well as construction materials. storage buildings for transportaThe volume of the mutual trade tion of goods by rail were built in turnover of the republics is signifiSaryagash (the South Kazakhstan cantly affected by development of region), at the border with Uzbekcross-border trading. istan and 15 kilometers from Annually, for the purposes of Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekproviding its southern regions with istan. A transport and logistics hub was opened at the station of Arys natural gas, Kazakhstan purchases (near Shymkent) of the railroad from Uzbekistan more than 1.5 bilconnecting both countries. The lion cubic meters of gas, while parties are also contemplating the Uzbekistan purchases from possibility of opening a free trade Kazakhstan sheet steel and oil from border zone. Kumkol field.

Republic of Kazakhstan


There are more than 140 The largest Kazakh diaspora in the enterprises operating in UzbekCIS (about 1 million people) lives istan with participation of in Uzbekistan, primarily in areas Kazakhstan’s investments, includbordering with Kazakhstan. ing 38 that are completely owned by Kazakhstan and 110 joint ventures. In Kazakhstan, there are 715 small and medium enterprises operating with participation of Uzbekistan’s capital. Labor migration between the countries is actively developing. Many citizens of Uzbekistan travel to Kazakhstan for work. There is a visa-free regime among the countries. Any citizen may cross the border and stay in the territory of the neighboring state for five days without the need for registration. Currently, there are eight border checkpoints between the countries (three two-way checkpoints and five multiway checkpoints). Two border checkpoints are located in the Mangystau region, and the rest are located in the South Kazakhstan region.

During the visit of President Nazarbayev to Uzbekistan in March 2013, a number of important agreements were reached, including an agreement to support Uzbekistan’s initiative for creation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia. Intergovernmental agreements on international highway service, on cooperation in protection of intellectual property rights, on cooperation in science and technologies, and the like, were signed. The Uzbekistan’s party established an Interstate Coordination Council under the patronage of the two presidents with participation of prime ministers, ministers of foreign affairs, ministers of defense, economy, and finances, as well as heads of special services. Representatives of Kazakhstan annually participate in the Sharq Taronalari (Melodies of the East) musical festival, held annually in Samarkand. Every year, guest performances of theater groups of Almaty and Tashkent, as well as painting and photo exhibitions, are arranged. Diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan were established on October 15, 1992. There is a sufficiently well-developed contractual and legal framework between the two countries, with more than ninety documents signed. The basis for establishing mutually beneficial relations was formed by the signing of a Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance (April 8, 1997) and a Treaty of Eternal Friendship (July 8, 1993). The parties also signed a memorandum on delimitation of the state border (July 1998) and an agreement on the state border (December 2001). During the official visit of the president of Kyrgyzstan to Astana on December 25, 2003, an agreement on establishment of allied relations


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

between the republics was signed. The arrangements made during the visit covered the key areas of bilateral relations and created legal conditions for further strengthening of mutually beneficial cooperation in the economic sphere. The main goal of the visit was development of a joint action plan for economic integration between the countries, which even back then was indicative of the special level of their bilateral relations. Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are important trade and economic partners. During 2014, the volume of the trade turnover between them amounted to $924 million. The share of Kazakhstan in the total volume of the trade turnover of Kyrgyzstan reached 12.6 percent, and the neighboring country still ranks third after Russia and China (see Appendix 13). Kyrgyzstan exports to Kazakhstan electricity, dairy products, metals, agricultural products, sewn products, glass, and the like. Among the products imported by Kyrgyzstan from Kazakhstan are oil, rolled metals, machinery-building and metal-processing implements, and food. The prioritized activity vectors There are more than 400 joint aimed at providing regional stability Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan enterand security are cooperation in the prises operating in Kyrgyzstan. fight against the spread of terrorism, Of Kyrgyzstan’s financial market, extremism and psychotropic sub80 percent is controlled by five of stances, drug trafficking, and irreguKazakhstan’s markets—Kazkomlar migration. mertsbank, Halyk Bank, ATF Diplomatic relations between Bank, Temirbank, and BTA Bank. Kazakhstan and Tajikistan were established on January 7, 1993. The legal base of the bilateral relations is formed by more than eighty contracts and intergovernmental agreements. The Agreement on the Basic Principles of the Relations (signed on January 13, 1993, during the first visit to Kazakhstan of Emomali Rahmon, the president of Tajikistan) may be viewed as the main political document. Added momentum to the strengthening of political and economic cooperation was provided by the working visit of Emomali Rahmon to Kazakhstan, led by a government delegation, on November 22, 1995. Putting into practice the fundamental decision made by the leaders of the CIS countries on stabilization of the situation in the area of the state border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan, upon request of the government of Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, together with Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Russia, provided its units within the Collective Peacekeeping Forces of the CIS for defending the border areas of Tajikistan and Afghanistan, which were assigned to them. The pivot point in the relations between Kazakhstan and Tajikistan was the first visit of President Nazarbayev to Tajikistan on June 13, 2000. Eight documents setting long-term priorities of the interstate cooperation between

Republic of Kazakhstan


From February 1993 through February 2001, a composite Kazakh battalion was located in Gorno-Badakhshan, protecting the border of Tajikistan and Afghanistan during the period of the civil war. On April 7, 1995, as a result of the fighting during the defense of the border in the Pshikhavr gorge of the Pamir Mountains, thirty-five of Kazakhstan’s soldiers died in an unequal battle. In their honor, a monument was opened in the Peoples’ Friendship park in Dushanbe.

the two countries in the economic, scientific-and-technical, and customs spheres for the decade were signed. Currently, the republics view each other as prospective regional partners. On September 14, 2015, during On July 6, 2000, Nazarbayev the official visit of Nazarbayev to was granted the highest award of Dushanbe, an agreement on strateTajikistan—the Order of Ismoili gic partnership of the two countries, Somoni—for his great merits in agreements on cooperation in the strengthening the brotherly ties spheres of protection of informabetween the peoples of the two tion, education, and physical culture countries, his important contriand sports, as well as an agreement bution to the establishment of peace in Tajikistan, as well as on a program for cooperation for his efforts to promote closer between the foreign affairs minrelations among the CIS peoples istries of the two countries for and states. 2016–2017, were signed. Kazakhstan and Tajikistan are important trade and economic partners. The basis for the development of their complex economic relations was formed by the signing of the Agreement on the Principles of Mutually Beneficial Trade and Economic Cooperation on January 30, 1995. A special role in the development of economic relations between Kazakhstan and Tajikistan was played by the intergovernmental commission for trade and economic cooperation, the first session of which was held on October 3, 1998. The volume of the trade turnover of the two countries in 2014 was $858 million. The principal exports of Tajikistan include electricity, fruit, cotton, and explosives. Among the products imported from Kazakhstan are primarily grain, flour, oil products, and land-transport vehicles. Labor migrants from Tajikistan work in the territory of Russia, Kazakhstan, and other CIS countries, for which reason Tajikistan is interested in creating secure conditions for unhindered movement of Tajikistan’s motor and railroad transport within the territory of Kazakhstan, determining the status of migrants, and ensuring protection of their interests within the territory of Kazakhstan. The countries successfully cooperate in the sphere of regional security provision. During the visit of President Nazarbayev to Tajikistan on June


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

13, 2000, an Agreement on Cooperation in the Fight Against the Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances, and Precursors was signed. Diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan were established on August 27, 1992. The contractual and legal framework of their relations is formed by more than fifty contracts and agreements of both political and economic nature. The core documents regulating relations between the states are the Treaty of Friendly Relations and Cooperation, signed in Ashgabat on May 19, 1993, and the Further Cooperation Development Declaration, dated February 27, 1997. During the official visit of Nazarbayev to Ashgabat in April 1999, a set of documents was signed, including a memorandum on delimitation of the state border, the inland length of which is 426 kilometers. On July 5, 2001, the countries entered into an agreement on delimitation of their shared border. Until completion of the demarcation process with regard to the border, its eastern part, which is about 20 kilometers long, is to be identified by border markers at the junction point of the state borders of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. On November 7, 2014, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan signed the agreement on delimitation of the seabed of the Caspian Sea. Both states view each other as strategic regional partners, and the good-neighborly relations between them serve as one of their regional security guarantees. Despite the fact that on December 12, 1995, Turkmenistan declared its international status as a position of benevolent neutrality, both states continuously carry out consultations on relevant international and regional problems within the framework of international organizations. A crucial role for their bilateral relations was played by the official visit of President Saparmurat Niyazov to Almaty on February 27–28, 1997. The leaders of the two states established a Political Consultative Council, led by the presidents, for strengthening bilateral cooperation. Both states actively cooperate within the framework of the Caspian Five (Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan), working together to solve the problem of transporting Caspian energy resources to global market outlets. Other promising projects include establishment of mutually beneficial cooperation in production of hydrocarbons in the shelf area of the Caspian Sea with the use of Aktau and Turkmenbashi ports and conservation of marine biodiversity. An important issue in their bilateral relations is the status of Kazakhstan’s diaspora in Turkmenistan. The Turkmen side is sympathetic with regard to this issue. The Kazakhs represent about 2 percent of the population of Turkmenistan and live primarily in the Balkan velayat, the largest administrative division located in the west of the country, on the coast of the Caspian Sea.

Republic of Kazakhstan


In 2014, the trade turnover between the countries amounted to more than $470 million. The development of trade and economic relations was promoted by construction of a new Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway (the eastern north-to-south route) in the period 2009–2014. This made it possible to reduce the railway distance between the countries by 600 kilometers. The railway’s opening ceremony was held on December 3, 2014, with participation of the presidents of the three member countries.

Kazakhstan exports grain, flour, metal products, and oil equipment to Turkmenistan and imports from it food and agricultural and petrochemical products. The Transkazakhstan Trunk Railway construction project, with a total length of 3,943 kilometers, is of special importance for Kazakhstan. The railway will stretch from Kazakhstan’s Dostyk (Friendship) crossing checkpoint bordering China to Gorgan city in Iran through the territory of Kazakhstan (3,083 kilometers), Turkmenistan (770 kilometers), and Iran (70 kilometers). When opened, the railway will reduce the time of cargo transportation from China to Europe by up to seven days.

Cooperation in the fuel and energy sector and in the area of transportation of Turkmenistan’s energy sources to China is being actively developed. Since 2007, the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline has been under construction. The length of the pipeline is 7,000 kilometers, of which Kazakhstan’s segment is 1,293 kilometers, and the capacity of the pipeline is 40 billion cubic meters per year. The projected cost is $6.5 billion.

Promising projects include reconstruction and upgrading of the Central Asia–Center gas pipeline system linking Turkmenistan to the Russian Federation and running through the territory of Kazakhstan. The Days of Culture of Turkmenistan in Kazakhstan were successfully celebrated in Almaty and Astana in April 2008, while the Days of Culture of Kazakhstan in Turkmenistan were similarly celebrated in June 2009. Cooperation with China28

Kazakhstan and China share a border of 1,782 kilometers (1,215 kilometers of land border and 566 kilometers of maritime border). China was among the first countries that recognized the independence of Kazakhstan. Diplomatic relations between the countries were established on January 3, 1992,


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

and an embassy of Kazakhstan in Beijing was opened in December 1992. Currently, there are consulates-general of Kazakhstan operating in Hong Kong (since 2003) and Shanghai (since 2005), as well as the Passport and Visa Service in Urumqi, without the status of consular establishment (since 1995). In Kazakhstan, a Chinese embassy was opened in Almaty in February 1992. Currently, there is an embassy of China operating in Astana, and since 2007 a consulate-general of China has been operating in Almaty. Bilateral relations are based on an extensive contractual and legal framework—more than 200 bilateral documents, including the core Treaty of Good-Neighborly Relations, Friendship, and Cooperation and the Strategy of Cooperation. For Kazakhstan, China is of strategic importance. Strengthening of comprehensive cooperation with China is driven by the following factors: a long common border; energy interdependency of the economies of Kazakhstan and China; availability of various natural resources in Kazakhstan and their commercial development; interest in development of process industries of the national economies; establishment of an Asia-Europe transport corridor; and long-term service plans for the China–Near East and China–South Asia energy corridors.

In the foreign policy concept of Kazakhstan for 2014–2020, just like in the early conceptual documents, China, together with the Russian Federation, the United States, and the EU, is specified as both a country and a regional priority. A connecting factor for bilateral relations is the large Kazakh diaspora in China. More than 1.5 million ethnic Kazakhs live in the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region of China—the third largest diaspora after Uygurs and Hans—composing 7.4 percent of the population of Xinjiang Uyghur. Most of them (25 percent) are concentrated in the Ili Kazakh autonomous prefecture of Xinjiang Uyghur, with the administrative center in Kuldja (Yining). A program for resettling Kazakhs to their ethnic homeland is open in Kazakhstan.

Contacts between the heads of Kazakhstan and China have steadily intensified (official and business visits, bilateral meetings, contacts during summits of the SCO). President Nazarbayev has established close business relations with the leaders of China—Li Peng, premier of the State Council, and chairmen Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao, and Xi Jinping. A crucial event was the visit of Jiang Zemin to Kazakhstan in July 1996 as a part of an official tour to the Central Asian countries. From their

Republic of Kazakhstan


first meeting, the heads of the two states began establishing their relations in a new format, abandoning the inertness of the previous years. With Hu Jintao, relations became more pragmatic. At the twenty-fifth meeting of the leaders of the two countries in 2011, Kazakhstan and China approved the transition to a comprehensive strategic partnership. Currently, bilateral relations have developed to a new stage of comprehensive strategic partnership. Personal contacts between Nazarbayev and Xi became more and more frequent, with more than ten meetings and negotiations held during 2014–2015 alone. The leaders supported the same policies at the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague (March 2014), the fourth CICA summit in Shanghai (May 2014), the SCO summit in Dushanbe (September 2014), and the summits of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and the SCO in Ufa (May 2015). Kazakhstan’s Nurly Zhol industrial development program is interconnected with China’s Silk Road Economic Belt initiative. The legal basis for establishing cooperation was formed as far back as during the last years of the Soviet Union’s existence, when close relations were established with the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region of China. The first intergovernmental agreement (November 23, 1990) determined the direction for economic and cultural relations between Kazakhstan and Xinjiang Uyghur. During his visit to Urumqi in July 1991, President Nazarbayev entered into a political agreement on the principles and priorities of cooperation between Kazakhstan and Xinjiang Uyghur. According to the first agreements, the Horgos-Horgos, DruzhbaAlashankou, and Bakhty-Pokitu checkpoints were opened and soon granted the international status. Later, the Maikapchagai-Jimunai checkpoint was opened. In 1992 the first railroad crossing, Dostyk-Alashankou, was opened, and in 2012 the Altynkol-Horgos crossing was opened. Since 2011, the Horgos International Center of Boundary Cooperation—a dutyfree zone with an area of 528 hectares—has been operating at the border of the Almaty region and Xinjiang Uyghur. In 2013, the Baktu checkpoint was opened in Tacheng; it was the first green corridor for accelerated customs control of the agricultural products imported from Xinjiang Uyghur.

The core Treaty of Good Neighborly Relations, Friendship, and Cooperation, signed in Beijing on December 23, 2002, is indicative of the special dynamics in development of bilateral relations. Currently, the bilateral cooperation is characterized as a comprehensive long-term strategic partnership of Kazakhstan and China in the joint Declaration for Establishment of Strategic Partnership (2005), and the Declaration on Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (2015).


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

The issue of the border delimitation was resolved in several stages. In 1994 the parties signed an agreement on the state border of Kazakhstan and China, in 1997–1998 two supplementary agreements were signed, and in 1999 two agreements were signed on the junction point of the state borders between the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, and China, and between Kazakhstan, China, and Kyrgyzstan. In 1996–2001 the Joint Demarcation Commission of Kazakhstan and China, established in 1994, demarcated the state border. The territories disputed by China were divided in the following proportions: Sary-Childy (30 percent Kazakhstan, 70 percent China); and Chogan-Obo and Baymurza (70 percent Kazakhstan, 30 percent China). The problem of transboundary rivers in the relations between Kazakhstan and China is related to the increased withdrawal of water from the Black Irtysh and Ili Rivers by China. The rivers flow from Xinjiang Uyghur and feed Kazakhstan’s Balkhash and Zaisan lakes. The industrial development of Xinjiang Uyghur resulted in a sudden increase of water withdrawal from these two rivers at the territory of China in 1998–1999. In 1999, Nazarbayev personally addressed Jiang Zemin. According to the results of the negotiations, a list of twenty-four transboundary rivers was revised; an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of use and protection of transboundary rivers was achieved; a joint commission on use and protection of transboundary rivers was established; and the volume of water withdrawal from the Black Irtysh River in the territory of China was agreed not to exceed 20 percent of the average annual flow. In February 2011, an intergovernmental agreement on quality control of the water in transboundary rivers was signed. China is an important trade and economic partner of Kazakhstan. Promotion of trade was supported by the activities carried out by an intergovernmental commission for economic trade and scientific and technical cooperation, as well as by an agreement on investment promotion, and mutual protection, and resolution of trade disputes (1992–1994). In 2013, the volume of the trade turnover between the countries reached $28 billion. China remains the largest foreign trade partner of Kazakhstan after the EU and Russia. Kazakhstan exports to China primarily raw materials: rolled ferrous and nonferrous metal products, oil, natural uranium, mineral fertilizers, as well as raw leather, cotton, wool, and wheat. Among the products imported by Kazakhstan from China are finished products such as textiles and knitted fabric, household electric appliances, food products, and recently, steelcasting products and transport machine-building products. To facilitate the trade and economic cooperation between the two countries, in 1999 a representative office of the People’s Bank of Kazakhstan was opened in Beijing. Besides, Kazakhstan annually participates in the Urumqi cross-border trading fair. About 80 percent of all the trade can be attributed to Xinjiang Uyghur.

Republic of Kazakhstan


Chinese business actively participates in tenders, and establishment of joint ventures in the oil and gas sector, construction, and the banking sphere. Since 2007, China has redirected its investment activities to the non-resource-based sector, having adopted a program for cooperation in such industries (2010) and established a mutual fund (about $1 billion) for the purpose of rational diversification of the bilateral trade turnover. The Moinak hydro power plant, electrolytic plant in Pavlodar, cement plants in the Jambyl region, and the Aktau bitumen plant have been built with the participation of Chinese capital, which was also used for reconstruction of the Shymkent oil-processing plant and implementation of a gas utilization project in the Kyzylorda region. Investments totaling $1.5 billion were used through the Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation for development of the Sokolov-Sarbay mineral processing plant and the chromium industry, and for exploitation of the Aktogay and Bolshakovka deposits. In 2016, China State Construction Engineering Corporation invested $1.5–3 billion to develop the railway, air, and motor transport infrastructure, healthcare facilities, and penal system in Kazakhstan.

To integrate the projects of the Silk Road Economic Belt and Nurly Zhol, agreements on implementation of fifty-two industrial projects with a total value of $24 billion (as of 2015) were signed. In 1997, Nazarbayev and Jiang Zemin opened the road to large In 1994, the premier of the State Council of China, Li Peng, preinvestment energy projects. Priority sented an energy strategy aimed was given to the China National at Kazakhstan, noting that the oil Petroleum Corporation having a condeposits of Kazakhstan are much trolling interest in the Aktobemucloser to China than the oil fields naigas joint venture and being a in the Near East. shareholder of the Kashagan project. In 2006, a section of the Atasu-Alashankou pipeline was put into operation. In 2009, construction of the Kenkiyak-Kumkol section was completed. The pipeline, with the capacity of 10 million tons, is intended for transportation of western Kazakhstan’s oil from Atyrau (on the shore of the Caspian Sea) and of the Aktobe and Kumkol deposits to China. Currently, the project is at the stage of expanding capacity to up to 20 million tons. In 2015, more than 11 million tons of oil were pumped through the pipeline to China.

China is a potentially large market outlet for the Kazakhstan’s uranium. Agreements between the joint-stock company NAC Kazatomprom and the Chinese State Nuclear Corporation (2011, 2014) make provisions for development of uranium resources and supplies of uranium concentrate in large volumes covering up to 40 percent of China’s total need, and establishment


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

of joint ventures in Kazakhstan to produce nuclear fuel for nuclear power plants of China and third countries. Within the framework of cooperation in the sphere of electric power, in 2014, the joint-stock company SamrukKazyna and the State Grid Corporation of China signed an agreement on construction of large thermal power stations and organization of power supplies to China. Implementation of the project associated with construction of the Kerbulak hydroelectric station on the Ili River has commenced. Kazakhstan has an advantageous transit position. In 2008, construction of the Western Europe–Western China highway commenced through the territory of the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, and China. The length of Kazakhstan’s highway section is 2,787 kilometers, and its reconstruction was started in 2009 with the commissioning planned for 2017. In prospect, it will be the shortest route to transport goods from China to Europe, which is expected to take ten days.

The Northern Corridor of the Trans-Asian Railway, linking Europe and the Asia Pacific countries, also passes through Kazakhstan. For this purpose, in 2000 a representative office of the national railway company of Kazakhstan was opened in Beijing, and in 2012 a joint venture for production of shunting diesel locomotives was established at the Shu station (Jambyl region). In 2014, Kazakhstan’s logistics terminal was built at the Chinese Lianyungang seaport on the shore of the Yellow Sea. The terminal is controlled by the Kazakh and Chinese international company Lianyungang (49 percent of shares belong to Kazakhstan, and 51 percent to China). International container traffic is carried out though this port, which opens a road for Kazakhstan to the markets of the Asia Pacific region.

Cultural interaction between the countries is being developed. In 1995, the 150th anniversary of Kazakh’s poet and educator Abai was celebrated in Beijing, and in 2014 a memorial monument for the poet was opened there. The Days of Culture of Kazakhstan are arranged in China, and vice versa (2001–2014); and the Days of Culture of Almaty are arranged in Shanghai, and vice versa (2004–2005). In Almaty and Astana, there are Chinese culture centers, and the Confucius Institute also has been opened there. The United States in the Foreign Policy of Kazakhstan29

The United States became the third country (after Turkey and the Russian Federation) that recognized the independence of Kazakhstan. In the foreign policy concept of Kazakhstan for 2014–2020, relations with the United States are characterized as a strategic partnership aimed at development of political, commercial, economic, investment, energy, scientific and techni-

Republic of Kazakhstan


cal, and humanitarian cooperation, as well as at resolving issues on the international agenda. At the first stage, the bilateral cooperation was being developed in the sphere of control of nuclear proliferation. The United States helped Kazakhstan to destroy nuclear warheads, weapons materials, and the supporting infrastructure. The government of Kazakhstan used its good relations with Washington to strengthen its international position, receive security guarantees, and activate economic cooperation to recover from a severe economic crisis. According to the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, the United States spent $240 million to provide assistance in liquidating Kazakhstan’s weapons of mass destruction. Cooperation in the field of security and nonproliferation of nuclear weapons is also being continued today. Kazakhstan took part in the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington in 2010, and later in Seoul in 2012. Relations between Kazakhstan and the United States developed due to implementation of agreements between the two countries in the sphere of trade and capital investments (May 1992) and on the activities of the Peace Corps (December 1992), as well as due to preparation of agreements on cooperation in the field of science and technology, legal assistance and legal relations, protection of the environment and natural resources, nongovernmental organizations, and so In 1994, a Charter on Democratic forth. Partnership between Kazakhstan On December 5, 1994, at the and the United States was OSCE summit in Budapest, the signed, which became the core United States, together with Great document of their bilateral relaBritain, Russia, and France, signed tions. The United States believed a memorandum on security assurthe charter would become a ances to Kazakhstan. model for the whole of Central Asia and would facilitate demoIn 1995, the United States cratic processes in Kazakhstan. expressed its dissatisfaction over the Kazakhstan viewed the docureferendum held in Kazakhstan to ment as the basis for its special prolong the president’s mandate relations with Washington. until 2000. However, already in 1996, the United States decided to focus its main efforts on the Central Asian policy aimed at developing relations with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. There arose a problem with the hydrocarbon resources of the Caspian Sea region, and the project of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline was developed. In 1997, Central Asia and the Caspian region were declared a zone of vital interests for the United States and became the responsibility of the US Central Command. In April 1999, President Nazarbayev went to Washington to participate in the NATO Anniversary Summit. During this time, the attitude of the


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

United States toward the role of Turkey and China (the activity of which was previously viewed by the White House as a positive factor for reducing the Kremlin’s influence) in Central Asia began to change. The events of September 11, 2001, changed Washington’s strategy in the region. Astana was the first CIS country that permitted US aircraft to use its aerial domain. This was confirmed during the visit of Nazarbayev to Germany at the beginning of October 2001 and during later consultations with Washington. As a part of the global war on terror, in 2006 US president George W. Bush declared a new thrust toward democratization with active promotion by Washington of “color-coded” revolutions in the post-Soviet space. This threat was prevented due to the strong response of Astana toward the events in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, the well-coordinated mechanism of consultations with Moscow and Beijing, the delay in adopting a decision on the presidential elections, as well as the joint démarche of Shanghai Cooperation Organization members in July 2005. Gradually, a mechanism was developed for strengthening bilateral relations, through commissions on strategic partnership, energy, and scientific and technological cooperation. An important factor for strengthening relations between the two countries was recognition by Washington of the growing political weight of Kazakhstan and the readiness of the United States to become Kazakhstan’s partner within the framework of implementing Strategy-2050 and the national concept for transition to a green economy with the assistance of US corporations. In recent years, cooperation among the United States and the Central Asian countries has been effected in a multilateral format. Central Asia Plus the United States (C5 + 1) is a new form of the multilateral cooperation, first presented by US secretary of state John Kerry during his October–November 2015 visit to Bishkek, Ashgabat, Astana, Dushanbe, and Tashkent. The first C5 + 1 meeting of ministers of foreign affairs was held in Samarkand (Uzbekistan) on November 1, 2015, and addressed cooperation in the fields of security, policy, economy, and ecology.

Kazakhstan’s Multilateral Diplomacy Kazakhstan and the United Nations30

In late December 1991, Akmaral Arystanbekova, minister of foreign affairs of Kazakhstan, was sent to New York by President Nazarbayev to make the necessary preparations for the state’s admission to membership in the UN. On December 31, 1991, the UN secretary-general received an application signed by Nazarbayev stating the wish of Kazakhstan to become a member.

Republic of Kazakhstan


When discussing the candidacy of Kazakhstan, member states of the Security Council addressed the issues of Kazakhstan’s attitude to nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and the country’s adherence to the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty (1968), and also discussed measures relating to the strategic nuclear armament of the country during the transition period. On January 23, 1992, the Security Council recommended the admission of Kazakhstan to the UN. Kazakhstan was the first former Soviet state (out of the eight former Soviet republics that submitted applications for admission) to obtain the Security Council’s approval. On April 15, 1992, the first permanent representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations was appointed by decree of president of Kazakhstan. This was Akmaral Arystanbekova, the first woman ambassador of sovereign Kazakhstan. On June 5, 1992, the president signed a decree on the establishment of the Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan to the United Nations.

On October 5, 1992, Nazarbayev gave his first speech at the UN, focusing on the need, acute in the run-up to the twenty-first century, to identify and eliminate the underlying causes of emerging and developing conflicts. Nazarbayev proposed to establish a United Nations peacekeeping fund according to a “1 + 1” formula. By reducing their military expenditures, each state would transfer 1 percent of its defense budget to the UN and increase its contributions by 1 percent annually. He also proposed creation of an organization for security and cooperation on the Asian continent (similar to the CSCE in Europe)—the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia.

At the forty-eighth session of the UN General Assembly in 1994, Kazakhstan initiated the adoption of a special resolution on the provision of aid and assistance to landlocked countries, and on the development of transit and transportation systems. This resolution was adopted regularly every two years. Following Kazakhstan’s initiative, the first International UN Ministerial Conference focusing on the challenges of developing landlocked countries was held in Almaty in August 2003. At the OSCE summit in December 1994, Nazarbayev suggested (on behalf of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan) that the UN create a battalion to conduct possible peacekeeping missions in the Central Asian region; the corresponding agreement was signed on December 15, 1995. In 1996, Kazakhstan joined the UN Standby Arrangements System for possible participation in peacekeeping operations. A number of countries, including Sweden and Canada, offered their help in training national peacekeepers in Kazakhstan, as well as invited


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

the officers to peacekeeping classes taught at their military centers and academies. In September 1997, a series of joint peacekeeping exercises, Centrasbat-97, took place in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Other participating nations included the United States, Russia, and Turkey. The delegation of Kazakhstan participated as an observer in the session of the UN Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, and was admitted as a full member of this committee in March 1997. In 2000, the government of Kazakhstan passed a resolution on the formation of the Kazakh Peacekeeping Battalion (KAZBAT), whose main task was to participate in peacekeeping missions. KAZBAT military personnel were trained in accordance with the training programs of other peacekeeping military units. In the period 2003–2008, the battalion was part of the multinational stabilization army force that carried out peacekeeping operations in Iraq aimed at destruction of explosives and provision of water supply support.

In October 2003, a memorandum on expanding cooperation between Kazakhstan and the UN in the field of peacekeeping activity was signed at UN headquarters in New York, and in January 2005, Kazakhstan hosted a retreat session of the United Nations Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee. The main issue discussed at the session was the consolidation of efforts in fighting international terrorism. Kazakhstan was granted membership in the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in November 2006 (during the plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly), demonstrating recognition of the constructive role Kazakhstan plays in the UN activities. Kazakhstan was supported by 187 out of 192 countries and became the first Central Asian state granted ECOSOC membership. Following Kazakhstan’s initiative, the sixty-second session of the UN General Assembly was marked by the adoption of a resolution proclaiming the year 2010 the international year for the rapprochement of cultures. An important event in collaboration with the UN was Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s visit to Kazakhstan in April 2010. The UN secretary-general began his visit to Kazakhstan with a trip to the former Semipalatinsk nuclear test site. In September 2015, during the seventieth session of the UN General Assembly, President Nazarbayev announced a number of international initiatives, including to develop a plan of global development up to 2045 in order to provide all nations fair access to the global infrastructure, resources, and markets; and to transform ECOSOC into a global development council. Nazarbayev’s proposal to create a supranational global currency and a unified global network to combat terrorism, as well as his con-

Republic of Kazakhstan


siderations with regard to sanctions and the UN Security Council prerogative, were met with great interest. President Nazarbayev suggested that the UN relocate its headquarters to Asia, his reasoning being that in the twentyfirst century the center of global development is shifting to Asia—the largest continent and home to two-thirds of world population. Kazakhstan is moving from the recipient countries category to that of donors within the UN framework. Objective conditions have been created to transform Almaty (with nine regional offices of the UN system functioning in this city) into the regional center of multilateral diplomacy. Currently, the UN system in Kazakhstan is represented by fifteen organizations: UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund), UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime), UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), UNV (United Nations Volunteers), UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund for Women), ILO (International Labour Organization), UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, WHO (World Health Organization), UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization), World Bank, IMF (International Monetary Fund), UNAIDS (Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS), and Department of Public Information.

Kazakhstan applied for nonpermanent membership in the UN Security Council for 2017–2018 from the Asia Pacific group of states. The voting procedure took place on June 28, 2016, at the UN General Assembly. Kazakhstan’s candidacy was supported by 138 out of 193 UN member states. The OSCE: From Admission to Chairmanship31

Kazakhstan became a full-fledged OSCE member in 1992. The intensification of bilateral cooperation between Kazakhstan and the OSCE was facilitated by adoption of a number of important documents, including a memorandum of understanding signed between the government of Kazakhstan and the OSCE, as well as by the opening (in 1999) of the OSCE center in Almaty (now located in Astana). The projects on improvement of human rights and electoral legislation of Kazakhstan, as well as on reforms of judicial and tax systems, started to be implemented in Kazakhstan within the framework of a memorandum of understanding signed with the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). One of the most significant achievements of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy over the years of independence was the country’s assumption of the OSCE chairmanship in 2010. Kazakhstan became the first country out of all CIS, Asian, Muslim, and Turkic states to have been granted this right. Kazakhstan worked its way toward this honorable position step by step,


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

confirming its readiness with each move. At the OSCE meeting on intercultural, inter-religious, and inter-ethnic tolerance in 2006, President Nazarbayev clearly stated the objectives to be pursued by the republic during the period of its OSCE chairmanship: Kazakhstan was ready to act as a regional guarantor of genuine and long-lasting security; was committed to further develop dialogue among civilizations, acting as a bridge between West and East; and was proceeding along the path of democratic modernization of its political system and reinforcing the OSCE’s values. The motto of Kazakhstan’s chairmanship of the OSCE was based on the principles of the four “Ts”: trust, tradition, transparency, and tolerance. The relationship of trust and permanent dialogue established between countries serves as a base for the modern system of collective security. Tradition stresses Kazakhstan’s commitment to the OSCE’s fundamental principles and values. Transparency means maximum openness, free of double standards and dividing lines. Tolerance means awareness of the increasing importance of inter-cultural and inter-civilization dialogue.

During its chairmanship, Kazakhstan put forward a number of initiatives aimed at strengthening the OSCE’s role in the postconflict peacebuilding process in Afghanistan. Besides, there occurred a revival of the dialogue under the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. The crisis in Kyrgyzstan became one of the serious challenges to regional stability, and the OSCE reacted quickly to the situation. Kazakhstan’s chairmanship played a facilitating role in ensuring that parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan took place in peaceful atmosphere. In 2003, during the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Almaty Forum, Kazakhstan proposed a new formulation of security dimension—the transAsian dimension of the OSCE. Presenting its assessment of OSCE activities in the spheres of economy and environmental protection, Kazakhstan directed the organization’s attention to landlocked countries. For them, boosting transit transport communications will largely determine the success of future economic development; therefore, the solution to this problem is directly linked to the provision of energy security to the UN member states. Within the humanitarian dimension of the OSCE, Kazakhstan seeks to actively promote the ideas of tolerance and interfaith dialogue. The OSCE summit in Astana on December 1–2, 2010, became the final event of Kazakhstan’s OSCE chairmanship. It was attended by thirty-eight heads of state and government, senior officials of the OSCE member states, and representatives of international and regional organizations. The main topics discussed at the summit were the issues of sustainable security in the

Republic of Kazakhstan


Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian regions, the problem of Afghanistan, and the resolution of so-called frozen conflicts. In his speech at the OSCE 2010 summit, President Nazarbayev announced the transition to a new, ocean-to-ocean level of security and cooperation. He referred to the formation of a unified security space within the boundaries of the four oceans—from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from the Arctic to the Indian. The Astana Declaration was adopted at the end of the summit. Establishment of CICA32

The initiative to convene the Conference on Interaction and ConfidenceBuilding Measures in Asia was put forward by Nazarbayev at the forty-seventh Session of the United Nations General Assembly in 1992. The initiative was motivated by the European experience of security provision and had a lot in common with the OSCE experience. CICA activity was to be guided by the principle of trust, alternative to the principle of military deterrence prevailing in conflict regions. Thus, Nazarbayev’s doctrine of trust became a part of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy. The mechanisms of the doctrine are clear and concise: transparency of military policy; reduction of armed forces in the border area; establishment of demilitarized zones; mutual consultations on issues of security; and joint military exercises. Currently, CICA brings together twenty-six countries of the region, with Indonesia, Malaysia, the United States, the Philippines, Ukraine, Sri Lanka, and Japan among the observers. The UN, OSCE, League of Arab States, and Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-Speaking Countries are also on the list of observers. In the period 1992–1994, Kazakhstan organized three meetings of foreign ministry officials representing the Asian states most interested in the establishment of CICA. In the period 1995–1999, a special working group was established with the task to prepare the meeting of ministers of foreign affairs of the states interested in convening the conference. The drafts of CICA basic documents were considered during the preliminary meetings. On September 14, 1999, the first CICA Ministerial Meeting was held. The Almaty meeting resulted in the sixteen representatives of Asian states signing the declaration regulating the relations among CICA member states. The declaration consists of eight chapters encapsulating the basic principles of international security. In June 2002, the first CICA summit was held, in Almaty. At the end of the summit, the Almaty Act (the CICA Charter, in essence) was signed. The CICA Declaration, Catalogue of Confidence-Building Measures, and Rules of Procedure were adopted in 2004, at the second Ministerial Meeting.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

The CICA Catalogue of Confidence-Building Measures of 2004 defined the measures according to the following five dimensions: military and political (e.g., invitation of observers to military exercises); struggle against new challenges and threats (e.g., exchange of information on terrorist groups); and human, economic, and environmental protection (e.g., exchange of information on industrial accidents).

In 2006, the participants of the second CICA summit, in Almaty, adopted the CICA Declaration and established the CICA Secretariat. The Cooperative Approach to the Implementation of CICA Confidence-Building Measures was adopted in Bangkok in 2007 with the aim to implement such measures. Ten dimensions of confidence-building measures were coordinated: human dimension; combating illicit drug trafficking; emergency management; new challenges and threats; development of small and medium enterprises; safe transport corridors; energy security; information technologies; and environmental issues. Although implementation of confidence-building measures in the military and political spheres was not originally mentioned in the Cooperative Approach of 2007, CICA member states have approved implementation of the following four measures of trust: mutual visits of representatives of military agencies and military colleges; mutual invitations of military force representatives to take part in national holidays, cultural events, and sports activities; exchange of information on the biographies of top military leaders; and exchange of information on the status of accession to or ratification of multilateral instruments on arms control and disarmament, as well as conventions on outer space.

The third CICA summit, held in Istanbul in 2010, led to the adoption of the Declaration on Constructing a Cooperative Security in Asia, and the Convention on Privileges and Immunities of the Secretariat, Its Personnel, and Representatives of CICA Member States. The main outcome of the fourth summit, held in 2014 in China, was the adoption of the Shanghai Declaration, which aims at further development of the forum and the efficient interaction of its participants. The discussion also focused on the new concept of Asian security and the development of the Silk Road Economic Belt—issues addressed by Xi Jinping, president of China. Cooperation Between Kazakhstan and NATO33

Relations between Kazakhstan and NATO began when Manfred Woerner, the NATO secretary-general, visited Almaty in November 1992. In 1992, Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC; since 1997 the Euro-Atlantic Partnership

Republic of Kazakhstan


Council [EAPC]). Kazakhstan successfully cooperated with the NACC following the Work Plan for Dialogue, Partnership, and Cooperation. The country regularly participates in EAPC ministerial sessions. In May 1994, Kazakhstan signed the Partnership for Peace framework document, thus adhering to the following priorities of cooperation with NATO within that framework: planning and financing national defense, training the armed forces, and ensuring democratic control over them. On July 31, 1996, two agreements between Kazakhstan and NATO were signed at NATO headquarters in Brussels: the Security Agreement and the Status of Forces Agreement. The former focuses on protection of the secret information exchanged as part of cooperation under the Partnership for Peace program. The latter stipulates the status that the military units of Partnership for Peace partner countries acquire when stationed in each other’s territories (in the case of military exercises). Kazakhstan’s office at the Partnership for Peace Coordination Cell in Mons (Belgium) was opened in November 1996, with the support of the United States. The next step was the opening of Kazakhstan’s permanent mission to NATO on March 18, 1998. The 2004 Istanbul NATO summit established the position of the NATO secretary-general’s special representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia. Today, military and political cooperation with NATO under the Partnership for Peace program is marked by the following directions in the political sphere: participation in discussions on stabilizing the situation in the region; exchange of views on arms control and disarmament; participation in relevant NATO events; and informing NATO member states and partner countries about Kazakhstan’s position on various foreign policy and regional security issues. On June 7, 2002, Kazakhstan became the first Central Asian country to accede to the international Partnership for Peace Planning and Review Process, developed to assess the capacity and resources that the partner states allocate for multinational military training and operations in conjunction with NATO forces when conducting search-and-rescue and humanitarian aid operations. Kazakhstan’s participation in this program made it possible to start NATO-compatible training of KAZBAT in view of the battalion’s possible future participation in international peacekeeping operations. Relations between NATO and Kazakhstan reached a higher level in January 2006, when the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) was approved in the “NATO Plus Kazakhstan” format. IPAP streamlines and coordinates all aspects of cooperation between Kazakhstan and NATO. NATO contributes to the current process of democratic and institutional reforms in Kazakhstan. IPAP lays out the particulars of the process. In consultation with NATO member states, Kazakhstan continues developing a


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

conceptual framework for security sector and defense reform and promoting main reform projects at the Ministry of Defense. Kazakhstan holds regular consultations with NATO and partner countries under the EAPC, forming the overall political framework of partnership. In June 2009, Astana hosted a regular NATO/EAPC Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council Security Forum—an informal ministerial meeting. Representatives from more than fifty countries attended the forum. One of the most important issues raised during the discussion was the situation in Afghanistan. Kazakhstan formed a peacekeeping battalion out of its airborne forces. This military unit can be deployed to conduct peacekeeping operations under NATO leadership and based on mandates from the UN Security Council. Elements of the peacekeeping battalion and NATO allied forces took part in a series of joint military exercises.

NATO member countries and Kazakhstan cooperate in the development of Kazakh naval forces in the Caspian Sea. There is an ongoing process of developing general strategic naval force documentation, as well as of training military personnel of the Kazakh naval forces in accordance with NATO standards and tactics. In line with implementation of the Partnership Action Plan Against Terrorism, adopted by the EAPC at the Prague summit in 2002, Kazakhstan offered to establish a Partnership for Peace training center in Kazakhstan with the aim to train professionals who would ensure border security and fight against dangerous forms of contraband. The country is ready to support the establishment and development of the EAPC division for the exchange of information and cooperation between the special services of NATO countries and partners. Since 2003, Kazakhstan has been hosting Steppe Eagle—an annual series of major counterterrorism military exercises that promote the interoperability of KAZBAT and NATO forces.

Projects of the Science for Peace and Security program are implemented in Kazakhstan within the NATO Science Program framework. The projects are aimed at the delivery of scientific achievements and their implementation in production; they help strengthen security in the region and promote integration with NATO countries with regard to science and education. Kazakhstan has received dozens of grants under this program; the allocated grants have been spent on implementation of cooperation projects in the fields of science and ecology.

Republic of Kazakhstan


Al-Farabi Kazakh National University is home to the first Resource and Information Center on NATO in Central Asia; there is also a NATO Depository Library in Astana. NATO assists in holding various seminars and conferences, as well as helping organize study trips to its headquarters. The situation in Afghanistan remains one of the priority issues on the Kazakhstan-NATO agenda. NATO’s strategy to stabilize Afghanistan prompted the organization’s special interest in the provision of logistical support along the North Route, passing through Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. Kazakhstan and the European Union34

Apart from developing in a bilateral way, Kazakhstan’s cooperation with European countries also takes a multilateral turn when following the framework of the European Union. In September 1992, the EU and Kazakhstan signed the Protocol on Establishing Diplomatic Relations. The first European Commission Representation Office in Central Asia was opened in Almaty in 1994. In 1996, the EU and Kazakhstan signed their first contracts (on textile products trade among other things). The main document regulating the relationship between the EU and Kazakhstan is their Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, signed in 1995, which entered into force in 1999. A Cooperation Committee was created at the ministerial level under the agreement. The conclusion of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement created an opportunity to move to the next stage in the development of relations between Kazakhstan and the EU—to sectoral agreements: a bilateral agreement on trade in steel products, and a number of other agreements in the field of energy, transport, and nuclear cooperation. The EU is the largest trading partner of Kazakhstan and largest consumer of its energy resources. The volume of trade with the European Union amounts to more than $50 billion a year. In the period 1991–2006, Kazakhstan was one of the major beneficiaries of the Technical Aid to the Commonwealth of Independent States (TACIS) program. In 2007, this program was replaced by the Development Cooperation Instrument. Since 1991, the EU has funded more than 300 projects aimed at direct support to Kazakhstan for a total amount of about €140 million.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Cooperation in the field of energy between the EU and Kazakhstan includes the supply of Kazakhstan’s hydrocarbons to the countries of Central and Western Europe, with the simultaneous attraction of European investments for the development of Kazakhstan’s pipeline infrastructure. Three agreements in the nuclear field were signed between Kazakhstan and the European Atomic Energy Community: the Agreement for Cooperation in the Field of Nuclear Safety (1999), the Agreement for Cooperation in the Field of Nuclear Fusion (2002), the Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy (2006). In 2007, the European Union approved a new Strategy for Partnership with Central Asia for the years 2009–2013. In August 2008, Kazakhstan adopted the Path to Europe 2009–2011 state program. Cooperation in the field of security follows the basic principles of the European Political Cooperation. The EU developed two programs with a view to contribute to antidrug efforts and to improve border management: the Border Management Program in Central Asia (BOMCA) and the Central Asia Drug Action Program (CADAP). After two decades of cooperation between Kazakhstan and the EU, there arose a need to broaden the political and legal framework. Following negotiations that started in 2011 and focused on the particulars of enhanced cooperation, the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA) was signed between Kazakhstan and the European Union in the capital of Kazakhstan in December 2015. In March 2016, Kazakhstan ratified the EPCA, and the provisional application of its individual provisions began on May 1, 2016. The agreement will enter into full force after its ratification by the national parliaments of all EU member states. Unlike the 1995 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, the Kazakhstan became the first country in Central Asia to sign a new agreement expands the horisecond-generation Partnership zons of interaction to twenty-nine and Cooperation Agreement with areas and opens up new opportunithe European Union. ties for cooperation between Kazakhstan and the EU in economic trade and investment spheres, and has resulted in Kazakhstan’s joining the WTO and participating in the Eurasian Economic Union. 1. The following section was contributed by Mara Shaukatovna Gubaidullina. 2. N. Nazarbayev, “New Priorities and Tasks of Kazakhstan’s Foreign Policy.” From the speech of September 11, 1996, at the Extended Board of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Actual Problems of Kazakhstan’s Foreign Policy (Moscow: Rus Raritet, 1998). 3. The following section was contributed by Mara Shaukatovna Gubaidullina.


Republic of Kazakhstan


4. Nursultan Nazarbayev, speech at the UN Millennium Summit, New York, September 6, 2000. 5. The following section was contributed by Mara Shaukatovna Gubaidullina. 6. The following section was contributed by Malik Alishorazovich Augan and Mara Shaukatovna Gubaidullina. 7. The following section was contributed by Kuralay Irtysovna Baizakova and Mara Shaukatovna Gubaidullina. 8. The following section was contributed by Nurlan Adilkhanovich Adilkhanuly. 9. Decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan no. 831: On Approval of the Regulations for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, July 2, 1992. 10. Decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan no. 832: On Approval of the Regulations for the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, July 2, 1992; Decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan no. 833: On Approval of the Regulations for the Main Responsibilities and Rights of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan Accredited in Foreign Countries, July 2, 1992. 11. Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan no. 187-1: On Diplomatic Service, November 12, 1997. 12. Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan no. 299-2: On Diplomatic Service, March 7, 2002. 13. Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan no. 1118: On the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, October 28, 2004. 14. “President N. Nazarbayev’s Address at the Extended Session of the Board of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Commission of the Republic of Kazakhstan, September 14, 1998,” Diplomatic Bulletin special issue (October 1998), pp. 5–7. 15. The following section was contributed by Galiya Akhmetvaliyevna Movkebayeva. 16. N. A. Nazarbayev and Eurasia: A Collection of Selected Articles and Speeches of the Head of State, edited by E. B. Sydykova (Astana: Publishing House of L. N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University, 2012). 17. The following section was contributed by Saule Kamenovna Aliyeva and Galina Mazhitovna Kakenova. 18. The following section was contributed by Mara Shaukatovna Gubaidullina. 19. Decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan no. 1517: On International Consortium for the Assessment of Petroleum Potential in Kazakhstan’s Sector of the Caspian Sea, January 24, 1994. 20. The following section was contributed by Ardak Malsovna Yesdauletova. 21. The following section was contributed by Raikhan Sailaubekovna Zhanbulatova. 22. The following section was contributed by Ardak Malsovna Yesdauletova. 23. The following section was contributed by Mara Shaukatovna Gubaidullina. 24. The following section was contributed by Zhan Duisenbekovich Kosherbayev. 25. The concept of foreign policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2014–2020. Approved by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated January 21, 2014, No. 741, -politiki-rk-na-2014-2020-gg. 26. “Address of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, to the People of Kazakhstan,” March 1, 2006, /addresses/addresses_of_president/address-of-the-president-of-the-republic-of -kazakhstan-nursultan-nazarbayev-to-the-people-of-kazakhstan-march-1-2006.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

27. The following section was contributed by Saken Aralbaevich Mazhinbekov. 28. The following section was contributed by Mara Shaukatovna Gubaidullina. 29. The following section was contributed by Fatima Turarovna Kukeeva. 30. The following section was contributed by Clara Naldibekovna Makasheva. 31. The following section was contributed by Yermek Samarovich Chukubaev and Sania Moryakovna Nurdavletova. 32. The following section was contributed by Kuralay Irtysovna Baizakova. 33. The following section was contributed by Kuralay Irtysovna Baizakova. 34. The following section was contributed by Kuralay Irtysovna Baizakova and Mara Shaukatovna Gubaidullina. Arystanbekova, A. Kh. Kazakhstan at the UN: History and Prospects. Almaty: Daik, 2004. Ibrashev, Z. U. (ed.). Chronicle of the Foreign Policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan (1991–1999). Almaty: Kazak University, 1999. Kazykhanov, E. K. (ed.). Kazakhstan in International Community (Essays on Multilateral Diplomacy). Almaty: Daik, 2012. Laumulin, M. T., and F. T. Kukeyeva. Foreign Policy Strategy of the Barack Obama Administration and the US Policy in the Post-Soviet Space. Almaty: KazNU, 2012. Mansurov, T. A. Nursultan Nazarbayev’s Eurasian Project Turned into Reality: Marking the 20th Anniversary of the 1994–2014 Eurasian Project. Moscow: Real-Press, 2014. Nazarbayev, N. A. Strategy of Social Transformation and Eurasian Civilization Revival. Moscow: Ekonomika, 2000. Sultanov, B. K., and L. M. Muzaparova. Formation of Kazakhstan’s Foreign Policy: History, Achievements, Vision for the Future. Almaty: KISI, 2005. Syroezhkin, K. L. Kazakhstan-China: From Border Trade to Strategic Partnership. 3 vols. Almaty: KISI, 2010. Tokayev, K.-Z. K. (ed.). The Diplomatic Service of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Astana: Edelweiss, 2004. Tokayev, T. K. Foreign Policy Priorities of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Moscow: East-West, 2011.

Suggested Readings

6 Kyrgyz Republic

Foreign Policy Determinants1 Kyrgyzstan is a mountainous country located in the western part of the Tian Shan mountain system and the eastern part of the Pamir-Alay mountain system. Its territory takes up 198,500 square kilometers, located between altitudes of 401 to 7,439 meters above sea level. Only 7 percent of the territory is occupied by cavities, containing human settlements and the main areas of agricultural land. Following the national and territorial demarcation of 1924–1927, Kyrgyzstan received a territory shaped as a bizarre triangle with a peak in the east beside the Khan Tengri mountain knot and a concave base in the west, with a mountainous framework edging the Fergana Valley, leaving a significant fertile part of it within Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Kyrgyzstan composes about 5 percent of the territory of Central Asia, mainly occupied by mountain ridges and spurs, intermountain valleys, and basins. By landmass, Kyrgyzstan is one-fourteenth the size of Kazakhstan, one-third the size of Turkmenistan, and two-fifths the size of Uzbekistan. Among the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union, by landmass Kyrgyzstan ranks fourth largest, after the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. The great disjointedness of the territory, combined with significant differences in altitudes, makes it susceptible to numerous natural disasters, including mudflows and floods, landslides and slope crumbling, avalanches, and squall winds. The annual toll of the resulting material damage totals more than $10 million. Territorial and Geographic Potential



Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Kyrgyzstan borders four countries: Kazakhstan in the north (state border length of 1,241 kilometers) and China in the east and southeast (1,081 kilometers), with state borders defined and fixed by treaty documents; Tajikistan in the southwest (970 kilometers; by rough estimates, about 50 percent of that length has been agreed at the primary level); and Uzbekistan in the west (approximately 1,375 kilometers, about 75 percent agreed at the primary level). Difficult demarcation talks with the latter two countries have been ongoing for over fourteen years. By 2016, the country’s population exceeded 6 million, 33.1 percent of whom are teenagers and children, 60 percent of whom are citizens of working age, and 6.9 percent of whom are citizens older than working age. Women outnumber men by more than 60,000. Two cities of the country, Bishkek, the capital (population 967,000), and Osh (255,000), are the cities of national status. Thirteen other cities enjoy a regional status. On October 4, 2000, following a The country’s mountainous terpresidential decree, the city of rain determines the uneven territoOsh was declared the seat of the rial distribution of the population. southern presidential residence, The Naryn region has the largest assuming the status of the southarea and the lowest population denern capital of Kyrgyzstan. sity, since this territory is located more than 2,000 meters above sea level, with winter taking up five to six months of the year. The Chuy region, on the contrary, has half as much territory, but 3.5 times more residents (860,000). Another peculiarity of regional distribution of population is that the regions of the neighboring countries that also border Fergana have a cumulative demographic potential almost two times the population of KyrgyzThe population density in the valley part of the Chuy region is 131 stan; in particular, the Uzbek people per square kilometer, in regions of Fergana show population contrast to 313 people per square indicators that are ten times larger kilometer in three regions border(see Table 6.1). ing Fergana (the Batken, JalalKyrgyzstan is the convergence Abad, and Osh regions). point of four types of culture and civilization: European, Arab (Muslim), Persian, and Chinese. This circumstance provided for the formation of a multiconfessional community. While in the early 1990s there were two or three traditional confessions in Kyrgyzstan, now there are about thirty different denominations and religious movements there. Demographic Potential

Kyrgyz Republic


Table 6.1 Area, Size, and Density of Population in Areas Bordering Fergana, 2013

Region Kyrgyzstan Batkent Jalal-Abad Osh Uzbekistan Andijan Fergana Namangan Tajikistan Sughd

Area (square kilometers)

Population Size

Population Density (people per square kilometer)

17,000 33,700 29,200

432,300 1,051,100 1,123,700

25.4 31.2 38.5

4,240 6,800 7,440

2,672,330 3,317,000 2,448,800

630.3 487.8 288.5




Source: S. Alamanov, K. Sakiyev, S. Akhmedov, et al., Physical Geography of Kyrgyzstan (Bishkek: Ilim, 2013), p. 588.

Kyrgyzstan houses the Spiritual Board of Muslims of Kyrgyzstan (SBMK), nine kazyyats (SBMK territorial structures), as well as 1,668 mosques; twenty-five centers, foundations, and unions of Islam; and three missions of foreign denominations of Islam. There are seven Islamic institutions and fifty-two madrasas and Quran study classrooms in the country.

Kyrgyzstan also features such confessions as Evangelical Christian Baptists (forty-nine prayer centers and branches); Seventh-Day Adventist Christians (thirty-one local churches); Pentecostal Christians (fifty-three religious organizations); Jehovah’s Witnesses (forty-one communities); the Evangelical Lutheran Church (twenty-one prayer centers); the New Apostolic Church (two communities); and other Protestant and pseudoWhile before 1991 Kyrgyzstan Protestant religious organizations had twenty-nine churches and (thirty-one prayer centers). prayer centers of the Russian Orthodox Church, in recent Favorable conditions for the years, despite the constant outformation of a religious environflow of the Russian-speaking ment were created on the basis of population, the number of Orthothe Law on Freedom of Religion dox churches in the country has and Religious Organizations, grown to forty-six. adopted in December 1991. Later, the country adopted the Concept for Strengthening the Unity of the People and Interethnic Relations in Kyrgyzstan (April 10, 2013) and the Concept for State Policy of Kyrgyzstan in the Religious Sphere for 2014–2020 (November 14, 2014).


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Among the great variety of natural resources, it is worthwhile highlighting hydropower and raw materials. Varied landscapes contribute to the development of ecological, scientific, and tourism resources. Accordingly, hydropower, mining, and tourism become priority sectors according to the National Sustainable Development Strategy of Kyrgyzstan for 2013–2017. Natural Resource Potential

Of the total average annual volume of river flow coming to the territory of Kyrgyzstan (52 cubic kilometers per year), 75–80 percent goes to neighboring countries: Kazakhstan, China, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Such distribution of water resources was established in the Scheme of Complex Use and Protection of Water Resources and the Provisions on Water Apportionment Regulations, adopted in the 1980s proceeding from the demand of the Soviet Union as a whole.

At present, Kyrgyzstan suggests changing the water apportionment scheme shared with the neighboring countries by adjusting it to current conditions with account of national interests of sovereign states.2 In order to develop the power industry, Kyrgyzstan has built and put in operation the Toktogul, Kurpsay, Tash-Kumyr, Shamaldy-Say, UchKurgan, and At-Bashy hydropower plants. However, construction of new Kyrgyz plants on transboundary rivers (including the Kambarata plant on the Naryn River) is sharply criticized by Uzbekistan. The fossil fuels discovered on the territory of the republic include deposits of coal, oil shale, oil, and gas. In the 1980s, coal mining in the republic was curtailed in favor of developing the major coal basins of the Soviet Union. There are fifteen oil and gas fields on the territory of the Jalal-Abad, Osh, and Batken regions, currently depleted by almost 70 percent. In terms of gold mining among the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Kyrgyzstan ranks third after Uzbekistan and Russia. The volume of explored and confirmed reserves totals 443 tons, and twenty-four deposits of alluvial gold account for another five tons. Of all the hard-rock gold deposits in the country, the Kumtor, Makmal, SoltonSary, Terek, and Terekkan are currently developed. The biggest gold deposit in Kyrgyzstan (and the third biggest one in the world, according to several estimates) is the Kumtor, in development since 1996, each year yielding 15–20 tons of precious metal. According to forecasts, the total volume of this deposit is about 500 tons of gold.

There is also a silver deposit in the country, the Kyumyushtak, where the precious metal has been mined since ancient times. Kyrgyzstan has

Kyrgyz Republic


explored copper deposits, the Kura-Tegerek (320,000 tons) and the Bozymchak. In addition, several deposits of iron ore, manganese, vanadium, and rare earth metals (beryllium, bismuth, tantalum, and niobium) have been discovered in the republic. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kyrgyzstan experienced a severe economic crisis, caused by a structural breakup of the former commandand-administrative economy, based on budget subsidies from the union center, as well as by the need to create and develop production and activities focused on the market (both domestic and foreign). The painful disruption of former economic ties, the lack of sufficient investments to support the existing production facilities or create new ones, the massive migration of skilled labor away from the country, and the general social and economic uncertainty, intensified by privatization-related problems, contributed to a deep, long-term economic crisis that lasted for almost twenty years. At the same time, the first ten years of economic development in independent Kyrgyzstan were marked by institutional reforms, mainly concerned with matters of privatization and denationalization of property, including issues of landownership. The legal way to private ownership of land was not paved until the early 2000s. In recent years, gross domestic product (GDP) of the republic excluding the Kumtor deposit enterprises has been increasing (see Table 6.2). However, the industrial contribution to GDP is decreasing, mainly due to declining production at the Kumtor gold deposit enterprises, which account for 7.4 percent of GDP. Exclusive of these enterprises, the growth of industrial production is provided by an increase in the manufacture of foodstuffs and tobacco, rubber and plastic, electricity, as well as certain types of construction products. Economic Potential

Table 6.2 GDP Dynamics of Kyrgyzstan, 2009–2014 GDP ($ billions) 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

4.58 4.61 5.80 6.50 7.19 7.30

GDP per Capita ($) 888.2 890.0 1,067.0 1,145.0 1,240.0 1,260.4

Source: National Statistical Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Kyrgyzstan has witnessed the development of such kinds of tourism as mountain skiing; elitist tourism, including hunting tours and native hunting with such birds of prey as the falcon and the golden eagle; cultural and recreational tourism, which combines tourism and leisure on the shores of lakes Issyk-Kul, Song-Kol, and Sary-Chelek, offering an extensive network of recreation centers, holiday hotels, and health resorts; and mountain adventure tourism and mountaineering.

Kyrgyzstan’s economy is sensitive to the changes taking place in worldwide markets, and especially to the changes in the economic situation in Russia, Kazakhstan, and China, the main trading partners of the republic. Natural conditions also play a significant role in the economy. Droughts, water shortages, hailstorms, frost, catastrophic floods, and high waters determine both the yield capacity and crop losses. Further development of Kyrgyzstan’s economy involves several international projects, including Kyrgyz-Russian projects (modernization of Kyrgyzgas OJSC; construction and operation of Kambarata HPP-1), and Kyrgyz-Chinese projects, mainly the reconstruction of roadways and construction of the North-South and China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railways. The armed forces of Kyrgyzstan were established on May 29, 1992. At that time, the strength of the forces totaled 20,000 personnel; later it was reduced to 15,000, with about 75 percent of the personnel being military volunteers. The current military doctrine, approved on July 15, 2013, stipulates that all units of the Ministry of Defense, the Border Forces, the National Guard, and the Internal Troops submit to the General Staff. On March 12, 2014, the Internal Troops were withdrawn from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and transferred to the National Guard. Land forces, being the major part of the armed forces of Kyrgyzstan, are divided into two military commands. The Northern Regional Command (comprising the Issyk-Kul, Naryn, Chuy, and Talas regions) consists of the Hero of the Soviet Union Brigadier-General I. V. Panfilov 8th Guards Motorized Rifle Division, the M. V. Frunze 2nd Guards Motorized Rifle Red Banner Brigade, a separate tank regiment, two machine-gun and artillery battalions, an engineering battalion, a separate signal battalion, the Scorpion 25th Special Operations Brigade, an antiaircraft artillery brigade, and support units. The Southwestern Regional Command (the Osh, Jalal-Abad, and Batken regions) includes the 68th Separate Mountain Brigade, the AlaBuka Combined Armored Battalion, a machine-gun and artillery battalion, the Separate Batken Mountain Battalion, the 24th Reconnaissance Battalion, an antiaircraft artillery regiment, and support troops and units. Military and Political Potential

Kyrgyz Republic


The armed forces of the country also include the Air Defense Forces, consisting of the 5th Guards Separate Antiaircraft Missile Brigade, the 11th Air Defense Brigade, the 44th Signals Intelligence Battalion (based in Grigoryevka village), and the Frunze-1 Air Base. The president of the country, also being the commander-in-chief of the armed forces according to the constitution, manages the military defense system. He forms and heads the Security Council (named the Defense Council in the period 2011–2017), as well as the State Security Guard Service and the National Guard, both under his command. The military education system of Kyrgyzstan includes the Kyrgyz State National Military Lyceum and the Bishkek Higher Military School (the former aviation school), as well as the Higher Courses of the National Security Service. The warrant officer school was founded in 1997. The military departments of civilian universities offer a reserve officer training program.

Military personnel are also trained on the basis of foreign educational institutions under intergovernmental agreements with Russia, Kazakhstan, the United States, Turkey, Germany, China, India, France, Great Britain, and Azerbaijan. Officers and sergeants participate in United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions, including those carried out in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sudan, East Timor, Ethiopia, and Kosovo. According to the military doctrine, Kyrgyzstan carries out regional cooperation in terms of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), as well as on a bilateral and multilateral basis with the CIS member states, and globally with all countries whose policies do not prejudice the interests of Kyrgyzstan or contradict the UN Charter. In accordance with the Law on Defense, a part of the armed forces of the country may participate in the joint armed forces or be under the joint command in accordance with international treaties. The Ministry of Defense of Kyrgyzstan interacts with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) counKyrgyzstan’s annual expenses on tries in terms of the Partnership for the armed forces amount to $15 Peace program, participating in promillion, about 2 percent of the grams for peacekeeping operations, expenses of Uzbekistan and language training, the war on terror, Kazakhstan. and drug trafficking. In sourcing armament and military equipment, including small arms, communication equipment, and transport, Kyrgyzstan significantly relies on the military and technical assistance provided by Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Turkey, the United States, and other countries.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Conceptual Framework and Mechanisms of Foreign Policy The First Years of Independence3

In the Declaration of State Independence, adopted by the Supreme Council of Kyrgyzstan on August 31, 1991, the country was declared an independent, sovereign, and democratic state with an integral and indivisible territory, governed solely by the constitution of Kyrgyzstan. The declaration stressed the republic’s adherence to the generally recognized principles of international law, friendship, and mutually beneficial cooperation among the peoples. An important step for Kyrgyzstan was the introduction of the national currency, the som, on May 10, 1993, which marked the beginning of the independent economic policy of the republic. At the forty-sixth session of the United Nations General Assembly, Kyrgyzstan became a member of the UN; in January 1992 it was admitted to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and on June 3, 1994, the country signed the Charter of Paris for a New Europe. Like most republics of the former Soviet Union, with the exception of the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and Belarus, Kyrgyzstan had no experience of foreign policy activities. The institutes and mechanisms of foreign policy, created in the Soviet period, in particular the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kirghiz Republic (founded in 1944), the societies for friendship with foreign countries, and travel agencies could not carry out international contacts on their own. Their activities were limited to representative functions, such as holding meetings, festivals, and cultural events. However, the foreign policy system of the Soviet Union employed quite a few natives of Kyrgyzstan, diplomatic graduates of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Moreover, a whole galaxy of specialists worked in a variety of all-union bodies of power and government, having knowledge and experience of international affairs, are now in great demand by the sovereign Kyrgyzstan. Before the adoption of its foreign policy concept, the first in the history of independent Kyrgyzstan, the main tasks of international activity stemmed from the provisions of the Kyrgyz constitution, adopted by the Supreme Council on May 5, 1993. Article 9 of the constitution proclaims the main goals and principles of foreign policy. The first paragraph of this article lays down the rule that the country “has no goals of expansion, aggression and territorial claims, which are to be resolved by military force,” and the fourth paragraph determines that Kyrgyzstan “strives towards universal and just peace, mutually beneficial cooperation, and resolution of global and regional problems by peaceful means with observance of the generally recognized principles of international law.” To implement this rule, Kyrgyzstan signed agreements on eternal friendship with Uzbekistan (December 1996), Kazakhstan (April 1997), and Turkey (October 1997).

Kyrgyz Republic


The Silk Road Diplomacy Doctrine4

The priority directions, tasks, and prospects of Kyrgyzstan’s foreign policy course were set forth in the Silk Road Diplomacy doctrine, adopted as an official UN document on September 17, 1998. It consisted of several sections, offering analysis of the status of international relations in the Silk Road region, indicating Kyrgyzstan’s place in those relations, and giving the prospects for carrying out this diplomacy. Askar Akayev, the first president of Kyrgyzstan, succeeded in combining different approaches to the revival of the Great Silk Road (by synthesizing the cultural revival within the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization [UNESCO] and the creation of the Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia [TRACECA] transport program) and turning it into a spiritual idea, connecting the East and the West and overcoming the concept of locally closed civilizations. This foreign policy doctrine proclaims the principles of equal partnership, friendship, and cooperation with all countries of the world, interdependence, mutual benefit, multifaceted development of international cooperation, and long-term prospects. In addition to economic benefits, the project strengthens relations of friendship and partnership among all countries of the Silk Road region, and creates an environment of security and good neighborliness. The multifaceted foreign policy of Kyrgyzstan distinguishes the following priority regions: the Eastern direction of diplomacy, including China, Korea, Japan, and Malaysia; the Western direction, including the countries of the Caucasus and the Middle East, the Balkans, and Western Europe; the Northern direction, featuring the CIS countries; and the Southern direction, comprising Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The doctrine received wide international support; it was successfully presented in the United States, China, Germany, Iran, Malaysia, India, and other countries. Representatives of Kyrgyzstan held conferences, symposiums, and seminars to promote the ideas of the doctrine. All in all, the doctrine determines Kyrgyzstan’s place in the modern Great Silk Road region as a link between the West and the East. The Foreign Policy Concept of 19995

It was necessary to develop a corresponding doctrinal document to implement the foreign policy course. On May 17, 1999, the Security Council of Kyrgyzstan adopted the foreign policy concept of the country. For the first time in its history, Kyrgyzstan had a document outlining the goals and strategies of its foreign policy, the mechanisms necessary for its mid-term performance, as well as the geopolitical and geo-economic position of Kyrgyzstan as a bridge between the West and the East, the South and the North, as the meeting point of four types of culture and civilization—the European (through Russia), the Arab (Muslim), the Persian, and the Chinese—creating favorable prerequisites for cooperation in different respects.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Kyrgyzstan’s national interests determine the priorities of foreign policy, including the deepening of integration processes in Central Asia, the strengthening of the CIS, the expansion of relations with the advanced countries of the West and the East, and the development of cooperation with international organizations. The document defines Russia, China, and the United States as the great powers. While Kyrgyzstan is giving China a priority position due to its growing significance in worldwide and regional affairs, and characterizing relations with the latter as an essential component of security, it views the United States as a country capable of facilitating Kyrgyzstan’s social, economic, and democratic reforms, and Russia as the home of the Eurasian civilization—“as a geopolitical, economic, cultural, spiritual and linguistic space, of which Kyrgyzstan is a part.”

Keeping up friendly relations with Iran and Pakistan is viewed as a factor ensuring stability and security. The document attaches importance to relations with developed countries, participation in the European process (the OSCE in particular), relations with the countries of the Asia Pacific region, as well as relations with international organizations contributing to the solution of Kyrgyzstan’s domestic problems on the basis of bilateral, multilateral, and economic diplomacy. The concept highlights the role and importance of the CIS in the construction of international relations on a completely new level, the preservation of the common educational, cultural, and media space, and the urgency of finding integrative models of economic cooperation, and gradual formation of a common market for goods, services, capital, and labor. Further development of a single military and strategic space and mechanisms of collective security is emphasized as an important goal of the country’s foreign policy. On the basis of the adopted concept and in order to strengthen the country’s security, the Kyrgyz government set up the Collective Rapid Deployment Force (CRDF) operational headquarters of the CSTO and a branch of the Anti-Terrorism Center of the CIS in Bishkek. The treaty on the status and conditions of stay of the Russian base in Kyrgyzstan was signed on September 22, 2003. On the basis of the Kant military airfield (20 kilometers away from Bishkek), the CRDF aviation component was commissioned on October 23, 2003, with the participation of the presidents of Russia and Kyrgyzstan. In 2009, the CRDF was reorganized into the Collective Rapid Reaction Force (CRRF).

Kyrgyz Republic

The Foreign Policy Concept of 20076


On January 10, 2007, the president of Kyrgyzstan approved the foreign policy concept following the political events in Kyrgyzstan of March 24, 2005, when Askar Akayev, the first president of Kyrgyzstan, was toppled. The preamble of the document notes that the adoption of the concept was “dictated by the expediency of accelerating the ongoing transformations in the country after the revolutionary developments of March 24, 2005, the dynamics of international and integration trends, the globalization and regionalization of global processes, and the need to find new adequate opportunities of development and threat response.” The concept was focused on pragmatism aimed at the country’s sustainable development. This concept proclaimed the idea of “returning home”—paying priority attention to cooperation with neighboring countries and the CIS states, primarily with Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. At the regional level, special importance is attached to close The foreign policy concept of 2007 cooperation with countries sharing describes the foreign policy space of Kyrgyzstan at three levels (the common state borders with Kyrgyzdocument calls them “cooperation stan, including Kazakhstan, Uzbekcircles”): the regional, the contiistan, Tajikistan, and China. At the nental, and the global. continental (Eurasian) level, Kyrgyzstan’s foreign policy is aimed at developing confidence-building measures in the structure of multifaceted and mutually beneficial cooperation with the main centers of global politics: Russia, the United States, China, the European Union (EU), Germany, Japan, India, and Turkey. The continental level also includes active cooperation in terms of international and regional organizations, such as the CSTO, the CIS, the Eurasian Economic Commission (EAEC), the SCO, the OSCE, the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). At the global level, Kyrgyzstan’s foreign policy is aimed at boosting confidence in the international community and making maximum use of the globalization opportunities. The UN is viewed as a key instrument in addressing the problems of world development and international security. However, Kyrgyzstan supports the idea of reforming this organization, including the Security Council. Kyrgyzstan considers that the most important priorities of its foreign policy in terms of UN issues are disarmament and tightening the nonproliferation regime for weapons of mass destruction; the war on terrorism and drug and human trafficking; participation in peacekeeping operations; and gaining experience of sustainable development.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

The concept does not exclude the possibility of delegating some of the powers to supranational bodies in terms of a deliberate integration process. The document also contains sections regarding the priorities of foreign policy and national security, protection of national development priorities, and assistance in the promotion of Kyrgyzstan’s positive image in the international arena and in the foreign policy system, with indication of certain government bodies as subjects of development and implementation of the country’s foreign policy. The National Security Policy Concepts of 2001, 2009, and 20127

The concepts of national security adopted in 2001, 2009, and 2012 were of great importance in defining the foreign policy of Kyrgyzstan in terms of improving defense and security. Based on the country’s national interests, these documents consider a system of economic, political, legal, and other measures adequate to threats challenging the vital interests of the individual, society, and state. All versions of the concept offer a characteristic of foreign and domestic threats to national security. The principal issues of national security were the integration of Kyrgyzstan’s national security complex into the system of regional and global security, subject to preserving the independence of foreign policy; building up cooperation with regional and international organizations; development of foreign policy contacts with the world community; coordination of efforts to protect the common borders of the CIS countries, especially in terms of the CSTO; and solution of border, territorial, and water problems in the Central Asian region. One of the most difficult postcrisis issues with a clear foreign policy context was the continued presence of the air base of the US-led AntiTerrorist Coalition at Manas Airport. Ganci Air Base was established at the civilian airport of Manas after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States (named after the New York City Fire Department officer who died while fighting fires during the terrorist attack). The air base secured the delivery of goods and military contingents of the US-led Anti-Terrorist Coalition to Afghanistan. The question of closing the air base was raised back in 2005 at the SCO summit at the initiative of the Russian Federation and China, but in 2009 it was reorganized into a transit point, with an increase in rental payments to $60 million a year. The current political leaders of Kyrgyzstan made a final and irrevocable resolution to withdraw the air base from the territory of the country. The parliament of Kyrgyzstan passed the relevant law on June 20, 2013.

Kyrgyz Republic

National Sustainable Development Strategy for 2013–20178


In 2013, following a decree of Almazbek Atambayev, president of Kyrgyzstan, the country adopted a national sustainable development strategy for 2013–2017, containing a section titled “The New Understanding of Foreign Policy.” According to this document, “the foreign policy of the Kyrgyz Republic should be entirely subordinated to the interests of its people. In this sphere, it is necessary to search for our international identity, which should be based on national interests, foreign policy resources available and an effective mechanism for their implementation.” Notably this was the first time the question of searching for the country’s “international identity”—finding its place in international relations and world politics; finding partners similar to Kyrgyzstan in its main parameters of economic, social, and cultural development—was raised. Therefore, the conceptual bases of Kyrgyzstan’s foreign policy were to be closely interlinked with domestic policy, internal needs of the country, The new understanding of foreign policy, according to the sustainand expectations of its citizens. In able development strategy of Kyraccordance with national interests, gyzstan, is to be based on a spethe foreign policy course should be cific analysis of the situation in followed on three levels: the stratethree spaces: within the country, gic, the long-term, and the global. within the region (implying CenAt the same time, the course should tral Asia), and within the world. become predictable, consistent, and economically profitable. The success of foreign policy should be primarily assessed by the scale of promoting domestic goods to international markets, the volume of investments secured for Kyrgyzstan, and the quality of protecting the rights and interests of Kyrgyz citizens abroad. According to the strategy, it is necessary to profoundly reset relations with neighboring countries, such as Kazakhstan, China, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as to move on to a new level of strategic cooperation with the Russian Federation; to ensure a reliable system of collective security within the CSTO; and to complete the legal delimitation of the state border. As for economic activities, it is necessary to create favorable conditions for the free movement of goods, services, and labor between Kyrgyzstan and Russia, and between the countries of Central Asia and Turkey; to maintain Kyrgyzstan’s integration into the economy of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) countries by joining the Eurasian Customs Union (EACU); to ensure favorable conditions for labor migrants abroad; to search for new forms of economic cooperation with the United States, the


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

European Union, and the countries of Southeast Asia and the Arab region; and to refine economic diplomacy. Foreign Policy Mechanism9

Formation and implementation of foreign policy conforms with the constitution of Kyrgyzstan, the Law on Interaction of State Bodies in the Sphere of Foreign Policy (July 4, 2012), the Law on the Diplomatic Service (July 15, 2013), and so forth. These legal instruments regulate the foreign policy activities of the country and determine the basis for interaction between the state bodies of the republic to produce an effective and consistent foreign policy course of Kyrgyzstan. In accordance with the legislation of Kyrgyzstan, the head of state makes resolutions on the most important issues of foreign policy. He shapes foreign policy, represents the republic inside and outside the country, exercises overall leadership of foreign policy, signs ratification documents, and accepts letters of credence and recall. Upon the agreement with the prime minister, he resolves the issues on the recognition of foreign states and governments and on the establishment of diplomatic relations, negotiates and signs international treaties, and establishes diplomatic missions abroad. The Jogorku Kenesh (the parliament) of Kyrgyzstan ratifies and denounces international treaties, listens to the speeches of representatives of foreign states, and concludes interparliamentary agreements. The dedicated committee of the Jogorku Kenesh (the Committee for International Affairs, Defense, and Security) consents to the representation of the head of the Jogorku Kenesh Executive Office on the appointment and the dismissal by the Toraga of the Jogorku Kenesh (the chairman of the parliament) of plenipotentiary representatives in international parliamentary organizations; it consents to draft international treaties and concepts of foreign policy, establishes diplomatic relations, and proposes foreign policy initiatives. Any state authority in the republic can put forward a foreign policy initiative, on condition that it should correspond to the foreign policy course of the country. The president, the prime minister, and the head of the authorized government body are privileged to make official statements on foreign policy issues of Kyrgyzstan. The Toraga (speaker) of the Jogorku Kenesh makes official statements on the issues of interparliamentary cooperation and issues within the competence of the Jogorku Kenesh. Government officials of Kyrgyzstan are authorized to make official statements touching upon certain issues of foreign policy performance in accordance with the positions agreed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Kyrgyz Republic


Foreign Policy and Society10

Since Kyrgyzstan’s independence, the country’s foreign policy has always been in the focus of public attention. Political actors of Kyrgyzstan, public organizations, and citizens closely follow the international activities of the country’s political leaders. Negotiations on the delimitation of the Kyrgyz-Chinese section of the state border that resulted in the signing of two agreements in the second half of the 1990s were used by the political opponents of Akayev, then president of Kyrgyzstan, as an opportunity to accuse him of betraying national interests, and became one of the reasons for the political crisis of March 2005, which caused the president to flee the country. The territorial issue was brought back during another political crisis that burst out in 2010.

The accession of Kyrgyzstan to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December 1998 received ambiguous forecasts. Therefore, the political opposition used occasional forecasts of certain foreign policy steps and domestic political problems as an instrument of political pressure. The clash of political opponents caused political crises, twice resulting in the overthrow of the country’s political leadership, during the events of March 24, 2005, and April 7, 2010. The April 2010 crisis anticipated the adoption of a new version of the constitution of Kyrgyzstan, essentially pushing the country to a parliamentarypresidential form of government. The constitution contains a rule that Kyrgyzstan should fulfill collective defense obligations together with other countries upon the consent of the Jogorku Kenesh (the parliament). The constitution adopted on June 27, 2010, significantly changed the scope of powers of the president of Kyrgyzstan, including those related to state foreign policy. The president is obliged to coordinate his foreign policy actions with the prime minister, down to signing international treaties and appointing heads of diplomatic missions abroad. Foreign Policy Priorities11 Strategic cooperation with Russia is a foreign policy priority of particular significance for Kyrgyzstan due to the historical and cultural community of peoples, traditional ties of friendship, common security interests, and many other aspects. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on March 20, 1992; later, on June 10, 1999, the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance was signed, commencing the formation Cooperation with Russia, the EAEU, and the CIS


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

of a contractual and legal framework for cooperation between the two countries. A powerful contractual framework of bilateral relations has been created and is developing so far (about 200 contracts and agreements were signed), having no analogues of cooperation with any other country. Educational cooperation between countries is also expanding. In 1993, following a bilateral agreement, the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University was founded in Bishkek, which later, by a 2004 decree of the president of Kyrgyzstan, was given the name of Boris Yeltsin, the first president of the Russian Federation, as a token of particular gratitude and respect for the personal contribution to creating the university. The university comprises eight faculties, eighty departments, six research institutes, and fifteen scientific and educational centers.

In the history of bilateral relations, one should especially note the official visit of President Vladimir Putin to Kyrgyzstan (September 19–20, 2012), when several bilateral agreements were signed, including those on debt settlement, the construction and operation of the Verkhne-Naryn hydroelectric power plant cascade and of the Kambarata plant, and cooperation in the military sphere. In 2014, the Russian-Kyrgyz Development Fund was established in Bishkek pursuant to the bilateral agreements On the Development of Economic Cooperation in the Conditions of Eurasian Economic Integration (May 29, 2014), and On the Russian-Kyrgyz Development Fund (November 24, 2014). In 2015, Russia allocated $250 million to support the fund’s activities. Loans of over $1 million at 4 percent per annum with a maturity of up to fifteen years are given to Kyrgyz companies directly, and lesser amounts are allocated through accredited banks at 5 percent per annum for a term of five years. The priority branches for credit financing are the agro industrial complex, the garment and textile industries, the processing industry, the mining industry and metallurgy, the power industry, construction of hydroelectric power plants, transport, as well as tourism and medicine.

Russia is becoming Kyrgyzstan’s strategic and principal trade and economic partner. It ranks first among foreign countries by the volume of trade with Kyrgyzstan (see Appendix 13). Inter-regional cooperation between the two countries is intensifying. In March 2016, President Almazbek Atambayev paid a working visit to Moscow to discuss the topical issues of KyrgyzRussian cooperation. One of the foreign policy priorities is Kyrgyzstan’s activity in the Eurasian Economic Union. On August 12, 2015, Kyrgyzstan became a full-

Kyrgyz Republic


fledged member of the EAEU, and on that day the customs borders between Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan were officially opened. Cooperation with the EAEU member states offers wide opportunities for further development of the Kyrgyz-Russian strategic partnership. Full-fledged participation in the Eurasian Economic Union definitely gives great opportunities to Kyrgyzstan. However, the republic has to pass certain tests. Participating in this large-scale integration project, Kyrgyzstan should certainly strengthen its economy and improve the competitive ability of its goods and services, but also should actively promote its national interests and thereby develop itself as a successful sovereign state. Since the establishment of the Eurasian Customs Union in 2010, Kyrgyzstan’s foreign trade with the EACU member states has been continuously growing. From 2008 to 2014 the foreign trade turnover increased by almost 30 percent, and in 2014 Kyrgyzstan’s trade turnover with the EAEU countries reached $3.1 billion, or 42.7 percent, showing 33.6 percent in export and 45.9 percent in import trade. In terms of trade turnover, Kyrgyzstan’s principal partners are the Russian Federation (26.7 percent), Kazakhstan (12.6 percent), and Belarus (2.2 percent). Regarding economic interaction within the CIS, progress toward a free trade zone has always been and remains a priority for Kyrgyzstan. Proceeding from this point, the republic has expressed its consent to preserve the structure of CIS economic bodies. The gradual formation of a common marketplace for goods, services, capital, and labor in the CIS environment meets the long-term interests of Kyrgyzstan. One of the important directions for Kyrgyzstan here is participation in the Interparliamentary Assembly of the CIS countries, to carry out coordinated work to prepare patternbased bills. Common interests aimed at preventing and eliminating security threats condition the development of strategic partnership relations with the countries of Central Asia. The strategic task is to create an inseparable region capable of taking measures based on uniform positions in solving the main global and regional problems. One of the priorities of Kyrgyzstan’s foreign policy is multifaceted cooperation with Kazakhstan. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in October 1992, and in July 1993 they signed their Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance, laying the basis for a bilateral dialogue. Their Treaty on Eternal Friendship of 1997 consolidated the strategic partnership of the two parties. The two republics have concluded over eighty joint contracts and agreements covering almost all areas of their activity. The main emphasis is given to the widest possible expansion of trade and economic cooperation. Cooperation with the Countries of Central Asia


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

On August 22, 2012, President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan paid a state visit to Kyrgyzstan, combined with a regular meeting of the Supreme Interstate Council at the level of heads of state. On November 7, 2014, President Almazbek Atambayev of Kyrgyzstan arrived on a reciprocal state visit to Kazakhstan, also coordinated with a regular meeting of the Supreme Interstate Council at the level of heads of state. Throughout the variety of Kyrgyzstan’s bilateral relations, successful development of cooperation is achieved with Uzbekistan. To date, more than sixty agreements are in force between the two countries. The basic document is their Treaty on Eternal Friendship, signed in December 1996. Uzbekistan, along with Russia and Kazakhstan, is the main trading partner for Kyrgyzstan. One of the key directions aimed at intensifying trade and economic relations is the creation of the uniform transport infrastructure. At present, the republics have established the Consortium for the Operation of the Hydropower Resources of the Naryn River and other intergovernmental structures, including the Asian Sugar.

The republics refine traditional contacts in the field of education and culture, and create favorable conditions for their citizens residing in the border areas, which is undoubtedly beneficial for their good-neighbor relations. Today, in its relations with the official Tashkent, Kyrgyzstan has established an understanding of the necessity and desire to coordinate efforts and ensure regional security. Unfortunately, these relations are fragmentary. On September 12, 2013, in Bishkek, President Atambayev held a meeting with President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan in the framework of the SCO summit. Development of relations with Tajikistan retains its priority significance for Kyrgyzstan. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in January 1993. Since then Kyrgyzstan has been pursuing a policy of expanding bilateral cooperation, including in the field of trade and economic relations. The leaders of the two countries confirmed this focus during the official visit of Emomali Rahmon, president of Tajikistan, to Kyrgyzstan (May 27–28, 2013). Kyrgyzstan seeks to develop mutually beneficial cooperation with another country of Central Asia, Turkmenistan. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in October 1992. To date, all official political contacts with Turkmenistan have taken place both in terms of bilateral relations and at the level of multilateral events hosted by the CIS, the OIC, the Economic Cooperation Organization, and the Turkic Council, of which Turkmenistan is a member.

Kyrgyz Republic


On November 10–11, 2014, President Atambayev paid an official visit to Turkmenistan, signing a Treaty on Friendship, Mutual Understanding, and Cooperation. On August 5–6, 2015, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan, paid a return state visit to Bishkek. During the visit, the two presidents signed several agreements on cooperation in the field of education, on scientific and technical cooperation, and on certification of research and educational personnel, and also signed interministerial agreements (between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health, Agriculture, Culture, and Sports, the Academies of Sciences, the archival services, and the Chambers of Commerce and Industry), and agreements on interregional cooperation (between the Issyk-Kul and Balkan regions, and between the Batken and Ahal regions). The United States recognized the independence of Kyrgyzstan on December 27, 1991. Thanks to the personality of Askar Akayev, the first Kyrgyz president, the United States perceived the country as an island of democracy and provided it with economic and political support, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID). In the 1990s, numerous US nongovernmental organizations also had been working in the country. Cooperation with the United States intensified after 2001 in view of the Anti-Terrorist Coalition’s operation In 1993, the Kyrgyz-American in Afghanistan. The military base, faculty was established at Yusuf opened at Manas Airport, was used Balasaghuni Kyrgyz National for the needs of the coalition forces University. In 1997, pursuant to a in the period of 2001–2013. The decree of the president of Kyrintergovernmental agreement for the gyzstan, the faculty was transair base lease was concluded formed into the American Univerbetween the United States and Kyrsity of Kyrgyzstan, and in 2002 it received the name of American gyzstan for one year with subseUniversity of Central Asia. quent extensions. The volume of mutual trade and investments between the two countries is rather small. Cooperation with the EU, launched on April 3, 1992, with a memorandum of understanding between the government of Kyrgyzstan and the European Commission, had a special role in the successful development of Kyrgyzstan’s foreign policy in the first half of the 1990s. The basic document for the further development of mutually beneficial relations was the comprehensive Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation between the European communities and their member states, and Kyrgyzstan. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, European countries began providing assistance to newly independent states, including Kyrgyzstan. A The Western Direction: The United States, EU, and OSCE


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

special technical assistance program, Technical Aid to the Commonwealth of Independent States (TACIS), was created, and the EU became the largest donor and trust partner of Kyrgyzstan, providing assistance in the spheres of environment, democratic transition, and human rights, as well as in social, economic, humanitarian, and educational reforms, improvement of border security and pursuit of drug trafficking, and provision of food security. During the years of partnership with the EU, Kyrgyzstan has received about €200 million to carry out various programs and projects. Each year the European Union also provides technical assistance to Kyrgyzstan. In terms of bilateral relations with the European countries, deeper engagement with Germany, France, Switzerland, Great Britain, and other countries is of paramount importance for Kyrgyzstan. Today, the European Union is an important trading and investment partner for Kyrgyzstan. From September 16 to 19, 2013, President Atambayev of Kyrgyzstan had an official visit to the European Union, and from March 22 to April 1, 2015, he made a tour of several European countries (Switzerland, Austria, France, Belgium, and Germany), and visited a number of EU institutions. On March 14–15, 2013, Heinz Fischer, federal president of Austria, paid an official visit to Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan’s participation in the pan-European process is of importance particularly in terms of the OSCE, as the country needs to stabilize its economy, combat transnational threats, and improve regional security. On November 22, 2014, Didier Burkhalter, president of the Swiss Confederation and OSCE chairperson-in-office, paid a working visit to Kyrgyzstan. On March 24, 2015, in Vienna, President Atambayev met with Lamberto Zannier, OSCE secretary-general. On August 26, 2015, Lamberto Zannier came to Kyrgyzstan on an official return visit. As noted by Atambayev, Kyrgyzstan attaches great political importance to participating in OSCE activities, striving to create a democratic legal state with a stable market economy and civil society, and pursuing an open and peaceful policy in the international arena. Relations with China are the most important aspect of Kyrgyzstan’s foreign policy. The priority given to China is determined by its growing weight in the global and regional arena, its significant economic and demographic potential, and its direct territorial proximity to the republic. China recognized the independence of Kyrgyzstan on December 27, 1991. On January 5, 1992, the two countries established diplomatic relations, and in a few months the Chinese embassy was opened in Bishkek. Negotiations on state border delimitation continued from 1992 to 1999. On June 24, 2002, the two countries signed the Treaty on GoodNeighborliness, Friendship, and Cooperation. The legal framework for Relations with the Countries of East and Southeast Asia

Kyrgyz Republic


cooperation includes several dozens of agreements, some of them relating to the provision of assistance to Kyrgyzstan, including the development of social infrastructure (preferential loans and credit lines to Kyrgyzstan; reconstruction of roadways, including Bokonbayev and Leo Tolstoy streets in Bishkek; construction of a school with advanced study of the Chinese language in Bishkek; a hospital facility in Osh; etc.). On September 10–11, 2013, Xi Jinping, president of China, paid a state visit to Kyrgyzstan. From May 17 to 21, 2014, President Atambayev went to China on a return visit. Diplomatic relations between Kyrgyzstan and Japan were established on January 26, 1992. In January 2003, the embassy of Japan was established in Bishkek, and in 2004 the embassy of Kyrgyzstan opened in Tokyo. The two countries maintain a regular high-level policy dialogue, and their foreign affairs agencies interact in the form of political consultations. Their bilateral relations are marked with the improvement of mutual confidence, commonality in adherence to democratic values, and mutual interest in cooperation in the international arena. From February 26 to 28, 2013, President Atambayev paid an official visit to Japan. One of the important directions of Kyrgyzstan’s foreign policy is cooperation with South Korea, one of the first countries to recognize Kyrgyzstan’s independence, in December 1991. The two states established diplomatic relations on January 31, 1992. From November 18 to 20, 2013, President Atambayev paid an official visit to South Korea at the invitation of President Park Geun-hye. In terms of that visit, the two presidents signed bilateral agreements on gratuity assistance, mutual recognition and exchange of national driver licenses, and so forth. In 2004, an intergovernmental Kyrgyz-Mongolian commission on trade, economic, scientific, technical, and cultural cooperation, established in accordance with an agreement between the governments of Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia, held its first meeting. On April 3, 2012, Mongolia’s president Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj paid an official visit to Kyrgyzstan. The two countries determined new fields of cooperation. Kyrgyzstan also intends to intensify cooperation with countries of Southeast Asia, such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Relations between Kyrgyzstan and Malaysia enjoy the most active development. During the highest-level visits, the parties have revealed their similarity of positions on many issues of international relations, and on bilateral cooperation. Cooperation between Kyrgyzstan and Malaysia primarily covers the spheres of education, culture, and trade. The common task is to increase economic cooperation with all Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. Currently, Kyrgyzstan communicates with the Malaysian business community in order to secure investment for the Kyrgyz economy.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Kyrgyzstan attaches great importance to the development of comprehensive cooperation with India. The two countries exhibit a high level of activity in their political cooperation. At the invitation of President Atambayev, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India came on an official visit to Kyrgyzstan on July 11–12, 2015. The documents signed at the highest level create new conditions for effective cooperation between the two republics. They include the Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Defense, and the Agreement in the Field of Culture, Art, Youth, Sport, and the Media, between the Ministry of Culture, Information, and Tourism of Kyrgyzstan and the Ministry of Culture of India. Kyrgyzstan makes special emphasis on cooperation with Pakistan. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on May 10, 1992. Heads of state, heads of ministries and departments, as well as public organizations of the two countries enhance contacts and carry out mutual visits. On May 21, 2015, President Atambayev met with Nawaz Sharif, prime minister of Pakistan, who arrived on an official visit to Kyrgyzstan, giving new momentum to bilateral cooperation. Iran plays an important role in Kyrgyzstan’s foreign policy, conditioned by geopolitical, geographical, historical, and cultural factors. Iran is one of the most active countries in the OIC, it also plays a key role in the ECO, of which Kyrgyzstan has been a member since 1992. To date, the legal framework of relations between Kyrgyzstan and Iran consists of fifty interstate, intergovernmental, and interagency contracts and agreements signed over the period of 1992–2015. The main topics of joint meetings and sessions are the issues of reestablishing bilateral and multilateral cooperation in such priority areas for Kyrgyzstan as energy, mining, transport, transit and communications, customs, law enforcement, finance and banking, trade, industry, tourism, and the like. On September 4–5, 2015, at the invitation of Hassan Rouhani, president of Iran, President Atambayev paid an official visit to Iran, which resulted in the two countries signing a number of bilateral agreements. Cooperation with India, Pakistan, and Iran

One of the most important priority directions of Kyrgyzstan’s foreign policy is a diversified, differentiated, and balanced cooperation with Turkey, developing a multistructural economy and profitable trade and transport communications with world markets, and exerting active influence on the political climate in Central Asia. Since the first day of Kyrgyzstan’s sovereignty, official Ankara considers it an important partner in the region. Turkey was the first country to recognize the independence of Kyrgyzstan (December 18, 1991) and establish diplomatic relations with it (December 24, 1991). Cooperation with Turkey

Kyrgyz Republic


The main document regulating the principles of relations between the two countries is the Treaty on Eternal Friendship and Cooperation, signed on October 24, 1997. The two countries actively develop cooperation in the field of education. Kyrgyzstan has opened several Kyrgyz-Turkish schools and the KyrgyzTurkish Manas University. From January 12 to 14, 2012, President Atambayev made an official visit to Turkey, signing the Joint Jubilee Declaration on a new stage of relations between the two countries. The Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas UniDuring the years of cooperaversity began its educational tion, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey have activities in 1997 following a been actively exchanging visits at bilateral intergovernmental agreethe level of heads of state and govment signed in 1995. Nearly 5,000 ernment, parliamentary delegations, undergraduates study at nine faculand heads of ministries and departties, four high schools, and one ments, both bilaterally and in terms vocational school, and about 240 undergraduates and postgraduates of international organizations. From continue their studies at two uniJanuary 10 to 12, 2012, President versities. Atambayev paid an official visit to Turkey, and on August 23, 2012, Turkey’s president Abdullah Gul came on a return visit to Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan attaches great importance to the development of cooperation with other countries of the Muslim world. For instance, from December 2 to 8, 2014, President Atambayev paid an official visit to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. Multilateral Diplomacy and International Initiatives of Kyrgyzstan

Being a member of more than 120 international organizations, Kyrgyzstan actively uses their potential. Those include the UN, the OSCE, the ECO, the OIC, the WTO, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Islamic Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Kyrgyzstan’s participation in the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Eurasian Economic Union, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization plays a special role for the republic. The establishment of cooperation with the UN and its institutions and offices (UNESCO, the United Nations Children’s Fund [UNICEF], the United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], the United Nations Development Programme [UNDP], the World Health Organization [WHO], the International Labour Organization [ILO], etc.); the OSCE and its institutions (the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights [ODIHR], the High


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Commissioner on National Authorities [HCNM]); and the OIC and its institutions (the Islamic Development Bank, the Islamic Development Fund); and others, are of strategic importance for Kyrgyzstan. In subsequent years, foreign policy initiatives, supported by the interested countries and international organizations, were an important component of Kyrgyzstan’s foreign policy strategy. Those initiatives include the Silk Road Diplomacy doctrine, the Uzbek president’s initiative for the establishment of the Central Asian Nuclear Weapon–Free Zone (CANWFZ), the proclamation of 2002 as the International Year of Mountains and hosting the Global Mountain Summit in Bishkek, the UN International Conference on Afghanistan, and the international celebration of the millennial anniversary of the Kyrgyz Epic Manas in 1995. In December 1994, the forty-ninth session of the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution to Manas is the name of a hero who celebrate the millennial anniversary united the Kyrgyz people, as well of the Kyrgyz Epic Manas, which as the name of the epic about recognized the epic as a part of the deeds of valor, predominantly world’s spiritual culture. recited with melody in verses of The fifty-seventh session of the seven and eight syllables. The UN General Assembly, held on epic is included in UNESCO’s December 20, 2002, adopted the Intangible Cultural Heritage list. resolution to hold the Year of the Kyrgyz Statehood dedicated to the 2,200th anniversary of the Kyrgyz nation. The celebration of the epic (1995) and the Year of the Kyrgyz Statehood (2003) included scientific conferences, symposiums and celebrations, and the publication of numerous scientific papers. The initiative to hold the OSCE-OIC Forum is worth mentioning. It was seen as an attempt to create a platform for a dialogue between two civilizations, two world cultures, and the two largest religions of the world. The initiative also included the UNESCO International Forum “Eurasia in the 21st Century: Dialogue of Cultures or Conflict of Civilizations?” This proposal was supported by UNESCO, as it was viewed as a logical continuation of the “Dialogue of Civilizations” concept by Mohammad Khatami, president of Iran. As a result, 2001 was announced as the Year of the Dialogue of Civilizations. The forum was held on September 10–11, 2004, in Kyrgyzstan on the shore of Lake Issyk-Kul with the participation of about 200 leading politicians, scientists, and artists from more than twenty countries. Each of these initiatives, having high political and cultural significance for the enhancement of the country’s sovereignty, at the same time promoted a positive image of Kyrgyzstan in international relations. Some of them, in particular the peacebuilding conference on Afghanistan in Bishkek under the aegis of the UN, as well as the initiative of holding a meeting between the

Kyrgyz Republic


representatives of Azerbaijan and Armenia on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, followed by the signature of the Bishkek Protocol on May 5, 1994, that laid the basis for the peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, showed the desire of Kyrgyzstan to promote peace in the two countries. Kyrgyzstan also contributed to the cessation of the civil war in neighboring Tajikistan and peaceful resolution of the inter-Tajik conflict. One of the important trends of Kyrgyzstan’s foreign policy is the strategy of providing support to the people of Kyrgyz origin living abroad. One group of the Kyrgyz population (about half a million people) represents the diaspora, living in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, China, Afghanistan, and Turkey, while another group is labor migrants (about 1 million people), predominantly living in Russia, Kazakhstan, and other countries. For the purposeful and systematic support of the spiritual demands In order to discuss the issues of political, social, and cultural of the diaspora and for the simplidevelopment of the Kyrgyz popufied acquisition of citizenship of lation abroad, for the first time in Kyrgyzstan upon repatriation, Kyrhistory the Kurultai (congress) of gyzstan has created a legislative the Kyrgyz people was held in base—the Law on State Guarantees August 1992 in Bishkek, and was for Ethnic Kyrgyz Returning to participated by representatives of Their Historical Homeland (2007). the Kyrgyz people living in twenty countries of the world. Each year the republic admits a certain number of applicants from the Kyrgyz diaspora to institutions of higher education of the country to study free of charge. The state makes enormous efforts to support and protect the rights of labor migrants. With Kyrgyzstan’s accession to the EAEU, the protection of their rights was taken to a new level. Relations with Expatriates

Economic Diplomacy12 Kyrgyzstan supplies world markets with electricity, cotton fiber and cotton products, wool and woolen products, hides, tobacco, gold, antimony, and mercury, while purchasing oil products, natural gas, coal, fertilizers and other chemicals, engineering products, vehicles and spare parts, and consumer electronics. Since 2007, the import growth rate has been visibly outstripping the export rate, resulting in a negative trade balance, which amounted to $3.5 billion in 2014 (see Figure 6.1). In recent years, imports have shown more Specifics of Foreign Economic Relations


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Figure 6.1 Kyrgyzstan’s Commodity Export and Import Dynamics, 2004–2014

Trade value ($ billions)

Imports Exports

Source: National Statistical Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic.

than three times higher values than exports. Proceeding from the current structure and the development pace of the economy in general and its branches in particular, it is reasonable to assume that this trend will continue. Traditionally, gold remains the principal export item, and the import growth stems from the increasing supplies of petroleum products, investments, and intermediate goods. The share of the EACU/EAEU member states takes up about 40 percent of the foreign trade turnover of the republic. In terms of goods export, Kyrgyzstan’s principal trading partners are the countries of the EACU/EAEU. Clothing, vegetables, fruits, and milk are exported to Kazakhstan; cotton, electric bulbs, cigarettes, clothes, and meat are supplied to the Russian Federation; car parts go to Belarus. The Russian Federation supplies oil and oil products, articles of cast iron and steel, timber, vegetable oils, and grains; Kazakhstan supplies tractors and tires. Non-CIS countries account for about 53 percent of Kyrgyzstan’s trade turnover (the CIS countries not participating in the EAEU cover the remaining 7 percent). Asian countries, especially China, Japan, and Turkey (export of Kyrgyz vegetables, fruits, and cotton) take a significant proportion of the country’s foreign trade, totaling 31.9 percent. Among the European countries, which account for 17.6 percent of Kyrgyzstan’s trade turnover, the closest cooperation involved Switzerland (exports of Kyrgyz gold), Germany, and France. Among the countries of the Western Hemisphere (3.8 percent of trade turnover), the closest cooperation is with the

Kyrgyz Republic


United States and Canada. The main non-CIS import partners include China, Japan, Germany, the United States, and Turkey. At the same time, China covers over 20 percent of the import volume. Kyrgyzstan’s foreign economic relations reflect what the national sustainable development strategy calls a “transport deadlock.” Kyrgyzstan remains relatively isolated from the world market in a number of ways, including due to its geographical location and lack of access to transit infrastructure, insufficient competitiveness in world markets, and political disputes with its neighbors. However, Kyrgyzstan’s foreign trade shows a significant expansion over the past few years. The total turnover of the republic increased almost sevenfold, up $11.8 billion from 2005 to 2013. At the same time, trade with China, Russia, and Kyrgyzstan’s neighbors in Central Asia accounted for over 82 percent of the country’s total trade volume in 2014. The extension of relations between Kyrgyzstan and its neighbors is of decisive importance for the republic’s overall economic development. Kyrgyzstan lacks domestic transit infrastructure and cross-border links. The country’s economic policy also aims at developing transit corridors, as well as further integration into global digital telecommunication networks. A renewal of infrastructure will give momentum to the economy, improve access to mineral deposits, stimulate job growth, and connect the country’s north and south. To date, trade with the countries of Central Asia already covers about 15 percent of Kyrgyzstan’s total commodity turnover and 30 percent of its exports. At the same time, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan account for almost 98 percent of the republic’s trade ties in Central Asia, which is the key market for the country’s exports and commercial competition, and its main source of investment. The fifth most important foreign direct investment (FDI) source for Kyrgyzstan is Kazakhstan, important both as an export market and as a transit country to foreign markets. These circumstances played an important role in convincing Kyrgyzstan to join the Eurasian Economic Union. Despite significant problems in bilateral relations, Kyrgyzstan maintains close economic relations with Uzbekistan. Bilateral trade grew from $17 million in 2005 to over $200 million in 2014. Currently, China is viewed as an economic partner with fewer political risks. Since 2005, trade with China has been growing 60 percent per year and now accounts for almost half of Kyrgyzstan’s total trade. According to some estimates, the mutual trade turnover between the two countries is more than $10 billion, while informal trade covers half of the figure. China’s role as an investor in Kyrgyzstan has also grown, to more than $1 billion in 2014. Besides, China is interested in creating and developing The Way Out of the Transport Deadlock


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

industries aimed at the newly opening market of the EAEU countries, for example in the textile industry, to avoid the EAEU-imposed restrictions. Kyrgyzstan actively supports China’s initiatives to develop the Silk Road Economic Belt. The republic considers this project as an opportunity to secure investment for the construction of new infrastructure and consolidate the export niche to expand trade in Eurasia. China’s focus on developing infrastructure and regional ties in terms of the Silk Road coincides with the priorities of the economic development and national interests of Kyrgyzstan. The basic infrastructure projects, currently in progress or already completed in the country at the expense of Chinese investments, can successfully fit into the future framework of the Silk Road Economic Belt. With the participation of China, Kyrgyzstan is carrying out such infrastructure projects as the construction of the alternative North-South road, the already complete Datka-Kemin high-voltage power line, and the reconstruction of the Bishkek-Balykchy road with an extension to go around Lake Issyk-Kul. The two countries also discuss options for the construction of a railway from China to Kyrgyzstan and a gas pipeline branch from Turkmenistan to China.

Kyrgyzstan confirmed its foreign trade liberalization policy by acceding to the World Trade Organization in 1998, which implied a stable, predictable tariff regime and a competitive advantage over non-WTO countries. In addition, there were many political and economic aspects counting in favor of Kyrgyzstan’s accession to the WTO, such as protection and support of trade by the more developed countries, bringing the republic’s legal and political foreign trade regime in line with WTO standards, and advantages for the export of goods and services to the markets of WTO members. Entering the WTO, Kyrgyzstan expected to receive more attractive, stable, and predictable conditions for investment, which in turn would improve the quantity and quality of investment in all sectors of the country’s economy. WTO membership could become the main argument considered by investors even before bringing their capital to a certain country. As a WTO member, Kyrgyzstan has the opportunity to put forward its own conditions for other countries’ accession to the organization. Such a period of entry to WTO is considered rather short when compared to other countries. Accession to the WTO was a priority task for the republic’s foreign economic policy; therefore at each stage of the accession, issues at the state level were resolved in due time. Kyrgyzstan’s early accession to the WTO, compared with other CIS countries, gives it several advantages. First, Kyrgyzstan has the opportunity Accession to the WTO

Kyrgyz Republic


to influence the terms and conditions of other countries’ accession. As a WTO member, Kyrgyzstan has the right to participate in negotiations with the applicant countries and to demand concessions that will give significant advantages to the republic’s goods and industries. For Kyrgyzstan, a country with limited resources, this advantage is especially important. The WTO is an organization whose members make decisions by consensus. Such a small country as Kyrgyzstan is able to influence the accession of another country until the former is satisfied with the terms and conditions for the latter’s accession. The process of Kyrgyzstan’s accession to the WTO lasted for almost three years. On February 13, 1996, the republic submitted a formal application for membership in the WTO, expressing its interest in joining the organization, and on April 16, 1996, the application was considered at the regular meeting of the WTO General Council. Following the standard procedure, a working group on the accession of Kyrgyzstan to the WTO was formed. As a result of that meeting, the republic received observer status in the organization. Kyrgyzstan’s protocol on accession to the Marrakesh Agreement (which founded the WTO) was ratified on November 17, 1998, and came into effect on December 20, 1998. Kyrgyzstan became the 133rd member of the WTO and the first CIS country to enter the organization.

The second important advantage is the influence on future WTO rules. New agreements and interpretations are currently being developed on issues such as investment, competition, labor, telecommunications, financial services, and the environment. As a WTO member, Kyrgyzstan has the opportunity to participate in the preparation of these new WTO agreements. International publicity, primarily for the CIS countries, can be considered yet another advantage, since the pace and depth of foreign economic reforms are largely determined by the degree of the country’s integration into international economic organizations. Kyrgyzstan received substantial international publicity as a country whose trade and investment regime follows international rules and practices. However, in the big picture, this foreign economic development strategy has not given Kyrgyzstan the exact results it expected to receive, and its level of integration into the world trade system remains limited. In terms of export trade, the imbalance of Kyrgyzstan’s manufacture has increased, drifting from products with a larger share of added value—that is, processing industries—toward agricultural and industrial raw materials, while losing comparative advantage in some foodstuffs and light-industry products. The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Kyrgyzstan is responsible for coordination and performance of a uniform foreign Development of Foreign Trade


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

economic policy, and arrangement of a state system where public and private structures cooperate to promote national competitiveness. The ministry also ensures the development of trade relations with foreign countries through the system of trade missions. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry also provides support in bringing new international standards and initiatives to the attention of national entrepreneurs, shaping modern industrial, financial, and trade infrastructure, regulating relations between entrepreneurs and their partners, protecting entrepreneurs from corruption, and the like. In accordance with the republic’s legislation, foreign trade activity is defined as entrepreneurship in the field of international exchange of goods, services, information, as well as the products of intellectual activity and exclusive rights thereto (intellectual property). Foreign trade activity in Kyrgyzstan is regulated by the country’s constitution, the Law on State Regulation of Foreign Trade Activity, dated July 2, 1997, and other laws and legal instruments. In the 1990s, the main donors of the social and economic development of the country were international economic organizations, such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. This situation persisted until 2010, when China began providing larger economic assistance to Kyrgyzstan. Cooperation with Donors

Kyrgyzstan became a member of the World Bank Group in 1992, and during more than twenty years the partnership program between Kyrgyzstan and the World Bank amended its priorities in line with the changing local, regional, and global conditions. While in the 1990s the World Bank supported the country in the development of private enterprises and the social sector, in the 2000s it bolstered projects on improving social services and national infrastructure. The total volume of the World Bank’s financial assistance to Kyrgyzstan from 1992 to 2015 exceeds $1.5 billion.

Kyrgyzstan joined the Asian Development Bank in 1994, and has been receiving financial assistance ever since. To date, the total amount has exceeded $1.5 billion. In general, from 1992 to 2015, Kyrgyzstan signed 335 credit and grant agreements with international financial institutions and donor countries. In addition to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, China and the IMF also became leading donors for Kyrgyzstan (see Figure 6.2). During this period, overall assistance from international financial institutions and donor countries amounted to $7.6 billion, of which loans represented $5.9 billion (77 percent) and grants accounted for $1.7 billion (23

Kyrgyz Republic


Figure 6.2 Structure of International Assistance to Kyrgyzstan, 1992–2015

Source: Ministry of Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic. Notes: IDB = Islamic Development Bank, EADB = Eurasian Development Bank, EU = European Union, EBRD = European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IMF = International Monetary Fund, WB = World Bank, ADB = Asian Development Bank.

percent). These funds were allocated to carry out projects in various sectors of the economy, including education, health, transport and infrastructure, agriculture, energy, and budget support. Raising foreign investment is the priority direction of the republic’s foreign policy. During the first years of independence, this function was performed by the State Committee (later the State Commission) for Foreign Investment and Foreign Aid Promotion (Goskominvest). Following a presidential decree of September 21, 2001, its functions were partly transferred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Industry and Trade. In order to ensure the uniformity of the country’s foreign policy and foreign economic activity, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was additionally assigned functions such as participation in the activity of international economic organizations and institutions; improvement of efficiency of the republic’s foreign economic relations; and provision of organizational and methodological assistance to ministries, state committees, administrative departments, enterprises, and organizations in carrying out foreign economic activity. In accordance with that decree, the Ministry of Industry and Trade was assigned the following relevant additional functions: implementation of Raising Foreign Investment


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

foreign economic activity; procurement of goods necessary for production and technical purposes, of raw materials and consumer goods produced at the expense of funds borrowed from abroad and foreign exchange reserves of the government, in coordination with the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the State Commission on Foreign Investments and Economic Assistance of Kyrgyzstan; safeguarding state interests through coordination of export and import operations; licensing of export and import of goods (as well as works and services); establishment of trade missions of Kyrgyzstan abroad and trade missions of foreign countries in Kyrgyzstan in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In August 2014, Kyrgyzstan established the Investment Promotion Agency. The republic can also raise investment for its economy from CIS and EAEU member states through joint public-private financing of investment projects, the development of international financial leasing, and the creation of joint contractual organizations, such as investment consortiums. 1. The following section was contributed by Salamat Kulembekovich Alamanov. 2. D. M. Mamatkanov, L. V. Bazhanova, and V. V. Romanovskiy, Present-Day Water Resources of Kyrgyzstan (Bishkek: Ilim, 2006), p. 266. 3. The following section was contributed by Aidarbek Sulaimankulovich Kochkunov and Zainidin Karpekovich Kurmanov. 4. The following section was contributed by Aidarbek Sulaimankulovich Kochkunov and Zainidin Karpekovich Kurmanov. 5. The following section was contributed by Aidarbek Sulaimankulovich Kochkunov and Zainidin Karpekovich Kurmanov. 6. The following section was contributed by Aidarbek Sulaimankulovich Kochkunov and Zainidin Karpekovich Kurmanov. 7. The following section was contributed by Aidarbek Sulaimankulovich Kochkunov and Zainidin Karpekovich Kurmanov. 8. The following section was contributed by Aidarbek Sulaimankulovich Kochkunov and Zainidin Karpekovich Kurmanov. 9. The following section was contributed by Bakyt Alievich Dzhusupov. 10. The following section was contributed by Bakyt Alievich Dzhusupov. 11. The following section was contributed by Urmat Kadykeevich Saralaev. 12. The following section was contributed by Bolotbek Asangalievich Oruzbaev.


Akayev, A. A. Looking into the Future with Optimism: Thoughts on Foreign Policy and World Order. Moscow: Mezhdunarodnye Otnosheniya, 2004. Aydarkul, K. International Relations of the Kyrgyz and Kyrgyzstan: The Past and the Present. Bishkek: Turar, 2002. Bobushev, S. T. Kyrgyzstan in the System of Worldwide Countries. Bishkek: Turar, 2007.

Suggested Readings

Kyrgyz Republic


Bokonbayeva, Zh. K. Kyrgyzstan and the OSCE: Ways of Cooperation. Bishkek: KRSU, 2010. Dzhorobekova, A. E., and N. K. Momosheva. Chronicle of Foreign Policy Activity of the Kyrgyz Republic (1991–2002). Bishkek: DEMI, 2003. Idinov, K. Kyrgyzstan in the System of International Economic Relations. Bishkek: Kyrgyzstan, 1997. Imanaliev, M. S. Essays on the Foreign Policy of Kyrgyzstan. Bishkek: Sabir, 2002. Moldaliev, O. A. Modern Challenges of Security in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia. Bishkek: Friedrich Ebert Foundation, 2001. Omarov, N. M. Foreign Policy of the Kyrgyz Republic in the Age of “Strategic Uncertainty.” Bishkek: Ilim, 2005. Toktomushev, K. A. Foreign Policy of Independent Kyrgyzstan. Bishkek: Sabir, 2001.

7 Republic of Moldova

Foreign Policy Determinants1 Territorial and Geographical Potential2

Moldova is situated in southeastern Europe, in the extreme southwestern part of the East European Plain. The country occupies a considerable portion of the area between the Dniester and Prut Rivers. The narrow strip of the Dniester’s left bank in the middle and lower reaches of the river is called Transnistria. Having no access to the sea, the country, by its geographical location, gravitates toward the Black Sea area; however, it has access to the Danube (the length of the coastline is less than 1 kilometer), where the port of Giurgiulesti is situated. The republic borders on Ukraine in the north, east, and south, and on Romania in the west. The total area of the country’s territory is 33,800 square kilometers. Moldova’s territory stretches 350 kilometers from north to south, and 150 kilometers from west to east. In terms of the size of its territory, the country is ranked 135th worldwide, 33rd in Europe, and second to last in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Moldova is located at the intersection of trade routes. Part of the railway transport corridor that runs through Helsinki (Finland), St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kyiv, Chisinau, Bucharest, Dimitrovgrad (Bulgaria), and Alexandroupolis (Greece) also runs through Moldova’s territory. Some sections of the Moldovan railways are included in international routes E-95 and E-560, under the European Agreement on Main International Railway Lines. Today, passenger trains from Moldova travel to Romania, Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and Belarus, and international automobile passenger routes go all the way down to Romania, Ukraine, the Russian Federation, Bulgaria, Greece, Germany, the Czech Republic, and other countries. 227


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Moldova has two category-E internal waterways, classified in accordance with the European Agreement on Main Inland Waterways of International Importance, to which the country is a party; in addition, it has a Danube coastline stretching for 430 meters. River ports of Rybnytsia, Bender, and Ungheni, and the Varnita wharf, are situated on the Dniester and Prut banks. Four trunk pipelines run through Moldova’s territory, and three of them are used to transport gas to the Balkans. Due to that factor, consumers within the country are supplied over 1 billion cubic meters of gas a year, and about 18 billion cubic meters are transmitted to East European countries. The climate is moderately continental. Moldova is a seismic region. Earthquakes of magnitude 4 to 5 are not a rare occurrence there. More catastrophic earthquakes have also occurred, such as magnitude 6 in 2009, magnitude 6–7 in 1990, and magnitude 7–8 in 1984. Demographic Potential3

The population base of independent Moldova was determined on the basis of data obtained during the 1989 Soviet Union census. Afterward, two more censuses were conducted to estimate the republic’s population—in 2004 and in 2014. According to the current estimate, as of January 1, 2015, the population equals 3.6 million people; on the basis of a regular census (May 2014), it was estimated to be 2.9 million people. In terms of population, Moldova is ranked 118th worldwide, 29th in Europe, and second to last in the CIS (ahead of Armenia). Out of the country’s residents accounted for in the 2014 census, about 329,000 people were staying abroad. According to preliminary results of the most recent census (May 2014), fewer than 2.6 million people lived in the country. The previous census (2004) showed that the population of Moldova was 3.4 million people. Between 1989 and 2004, population density declined from 120.4 to 111.4 people per square kilometer. The proportion of rural population was 61.4 percent in 2004 versus 57.9 percent in 1989. From 1989 to 2004, the country’s population decreased by 274,000 people, and the annual average decline rate was 0.5 percent, which was caused by falling birth rates and the negative external migration balance. Moldovans account for the biggest part of the population, at 75.8 percent; followed by Ukrainians (8.4 percent), Russians (5.9 percent), Gagauzes (4.4 percent), Romanians (2.2 percent), Bulgarians (1.9 percent), and other ethnic groups are minorities. During the 2004 census, 78.8 percent of the country’s population signaled their ethnic language as their native tongue (the first language adopted in early childhood), and 20.8 percent identified with other languages different from their ethnicities.

Republic of Moldova


While most Ukrainians, Gagauzes, and Bulgarians called respective languages of their ethnicities as their native tongues, 50 percent of Ukrainians, 33 percent of Bulgarians, and 25 percent of Gagauzes generally talk in Russian. About 5 percent of Moldovans use Russian in their day-to-day communications. Among ethnic minorities, 7.1 percent of Bulgarians, 6.2 percent of Ukrainians, 4.4 percent of Russians, 2.2 percent of Romanians, and 1.9 percent of Gagauzes speak the Moldovan language. According to data revealing territorial distribution of the population, 21 percent of residents live in Chisinau (the capital city), 4.6 percent in the autonomous territorial unit of Gagauzia, and 3.8 percent in Balti. Cahul, Hincesti, Orhei, Ungheni, are large districts with populations exceeding 100,000; other districts, such as Basarabeasca (29,000), Dubasari (34,000), Soldanesti (42,000), and Taraclia (43,000), have smaller numbers of residents. Administratively, Moldova is divided into thirty-two districts, five municipalities (Balti, Bender, Chisinau, Comrat, Tiraspol), one autonomous region (Gagauzia), and administrative territorial units of the Dniester left bank. There is an unrecognized state in Moldova’s territory—the Transnistrian Moldovan Republic; its area is 4,163 square kilometers, and its population is around 500,000 people. This republic controls the larger part of the Dniester left bank (the capital city is Tiraspol), as well as the city of Bender and a number of villages on the right bank. Natural Resource Potential4

Moldova’s main natural wealth is its black soil. The most fecund black soils are found in the northern part of the country. They contain a high percentage of humus, which is conducive to growing early crops. In lower flat areas and fluvial terraces, especially in the south, within the South Moldovan Plain, and less frequently in central and northern districts, typical and calcareous black soil is pervasive. It is less fecund and is more suitable for growing cereals, sunflower, tobacco, and grapes. Alkali, or alkaline, soils need improvement. A large part of Moldova’s territory is covered with plowed arable lands. The republic’s mineral resources are largely represented by sedimentary rocks (limestone, chalkstone, plaster stone, claystone, sand, sandstone, bentonite, rotten stone, and diatomaceous soil). Those rocks are the resource base of mining industries and can be used in construction, in cement and glass production, and in the food, chemical, and metal sectors. There are no large deposits of mineral resources in the territory of Moldova. However, there are small deposits of graphite, phosphate rock, zeolite, fluorite, baryte, iodine, bromine, and some metals (iron, lead, zinc,


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

and copper). Small deposits of lignite, oil, and natural gas have also been discovered. According to some data, known natural gas reserves are as big as 1 billion cubic meters. That figure is comparable to the annual gas consumption in the country. Oil and gas production in the south of the republic is carried out by a company called Valiexchimp. Out of twenty-one wells, fifteen are currently operating, with an annual gas output of 300,000 cubic meters. Negotiations are under way with US and United Kingdom companies on further exploration and development of oil and gas fields in Moldova on concessional terms. Water Shortage and the Transboundary Watercourse5

Moldova does not have an abundance of surface water. That is explained by relatively small precipitation and a strong surface evaporation. Furthermore, rugged topography is also a factor, as ravines and gulches contribute to intense drainage across the terrain. Issues of sustainable use and protection of water resources and finding new water supply sources are essential for densely populated areas. The quantity and quality of water resources are the biggest issues in water supply of the country’s economy. The Dniester River is the main source of potable water in the country. However, the river, with its basin covering two-thirds of the country’s territory and 70 percent of the needs of Moldova’s population, is gradually degrading. In particular, the river’s hydrology is changing (i.e., the spring overflowing regime), the total runoff is declining, and the Dniester delta is dying. Moreover, for some time lately, the Dniester has been experiencing a stronger pressure on its resource base from neighboring Ukraine. Pursuant to international accords, Ukraine and Moldova must jointly address the issue of sharing the transboundary water flow. The Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (1991) and European legislation are to be respected by both parties (Moldova and Ukraine) that have signed association agreements with the European Union (EU). The EU 2000 Water Framework Directive obliges countries divided by a transboundary watercourse to enter into an agreement in order to jointly develop plans and manage that watercourse. In 2012, a treaty was signed in Rome between the government of Moldova and Ukraine’s ministerial cabinet on sustainable management of the Dniester River basin. However, only Moldova has ratified it (in January 2013), while the Supreme Rada of Ukraine has failed to do so. Development of hydropower industry in the Dniester basin in Ukraine will exacerbate potable water shortage in Moldova. In bringing the energy facility of the Dniester Pumped Storage Power Station (Ukraine, Chernivtsi region) up to its rated capacity, contemplated construction of six hydropower stations

Republic of Moldova


and over 200 water storage stations in the Ukrainian tributaries of the Prut and Dniester will dramatically put a strain on the Dniester’s ecosystem and will deplete the water flow to Moldova’s territory even more. There are serious issues with the quality of the Dniester’s water as well. Self-purification processes in the Dniester have declined by 80 percent since 1991. The river is degrading, and its runoff behavior can transform from a river-type into a lake-type within the next few years. Above Camenca (beyond Moldova’s national territory), the current is virtually nonexistent. Unless water inflow resumes from the upper parts of the river, the Dniester may transform into a chain of lakes. Economic Potential6

After the country declared its independence on August 27, 1991, Moldova entered a period of a major economic decline that lasted for about a decade (to 1999); in that period, gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 300 percent. In 2000, revival of industry began. From 2000 to 2005, GDP climbed by 43 percent in real terms; as a result, the absolute poverty level dropped by 41 percent. However, in 2005, the World Bank named Moldova Europe’s poorest country. Afterward, production and revenue growth continued, but with varying degrees of success. Purchasing power parity GDP was $17.8 billion (148th rank worldwide) in 2014, with state budget income equal to $2.9 billion, spending to $3.2 billion, and budget deficit to 2.9 percent of GDP. In the 2014–2015 Global Competitiveness Index, published by the World Economic Forum (Davos, Switzerland), Moldova was ranked 82nd among 144 countries. In the Doing Business rating of 2015, composed by the World Bank, the country jumped by nineteen places year-on-year, to 63rd place out of 189. By the Human Development Index, based on the Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Moldova is ranked 107th among 185 countries; it is placed a little below the global average level, among countries of the third world. Unemployment in the country is quite small, ranging from 20,000 to 40,000 people between 2010 and 2014. The actual number of the unemployed (calculated according to a methodology of the International Labour Office) is twice as big as the number of officially registered unemployed (in fourth-quarter 2014, 40,200 and 20,700 people respectively). According to some estimates, up to 25 percent of Moldova’s work force is employed abroad. Cash coming into the country from abroad is still a considerable source of income, as it accounts for about 18 percent of all disposable income of the country’s population.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

According to 2014 data, industry accounted for 20.4 percent of the GDP structure, agriculture for 16.0 percent, and the service sector for 63.6 percent. Essentially, the country has transformed into a service economy. Over the past two and a half decades, loss of traditional markets has forced a number of machine-building and instrument-making enterprises to close down or to change their profile. Some consumer industry enterprises switched to the production of goods from customer-supplied materials for international brands (Benetton, Armani, Versace, Max & Company, Penny Black, Byblos, Calvin Klein, etc.). In total, according to data of the Light Industry Employers Association (APIUS) of Moldova, there are about 300 clothing-making enterprises operating in the country; in total, they employ 25,000 people. The country has a host of natural factors that enable it to manufacture a wide range of agricultural products that are much in demand in areas that are located farther to the north than Moldova. The republic is one of the most northern regions growing grapes, peaches, tobacco, walnuts, and apricots for industrial purposes. This creates a commodity base for processing industries, in particular for the food industry. Winemaking is a very important segment of the country’s industry. It has managed to preserve its production capacities and even to overhaul them in a major way. The Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and Their International Registration of October 31, 1958, which was sponsored by the International Organization of Vine and Wine, prohibits the use of historical names to denominate beverages produced in other winemaking territories (cognac can originate only from the eponymous city of Cognac, champagne only from the province of Champagne, etc.). Under those requirements, alternative commercial names were devised in Moldova for locally produced beverages: Ialoveni instead of Xeres, Prometeu instead of Porto, Luceafar instead of Madeira, Carpineni instead of Marsala, Pastoral instead of Cahors, Mireasma Codrului instead of Vermouth, Divin instead of Cognac, and Spumant instead of Champagne. The republic attaches a great importance to the development of international tourism. The government approved relevant documents supporting its efforts in that area: a tourism development concept in 1997, a strategy for sustainable development of tourism for 2003–2015, a national program on tourism, a wine tourism strategy in 2004, and so forth. In 2014, Moldova’s government adopted a new tourism development strategy through 2020. Military-Political Potential of Moldova7

Armed forces of Moldova were set up under a decree signed by the country’s president on September 3, 1991. According to Moldova’s constitution

Republic of Moldova


(1994) and national security concept (2008), the country’s military security is ensured by its armed forces, which consist of the national army, border security troops, and carabineer troops (internal security troops). The 2003 law on national defense emphasizes that the national army is the main component of the armed forces, which ensures that efforts of all forces involved in the country’s defense in peace- and wartime are employed within the framework of a single concept. The law also stipulates that in the interests of peacekeeping and of strengthening international stability and security, and in accordance with its commitments assumed under international treaties, Moldova can take part in international peacekeeping and humanitarian operations. In times of both peace and war, the president of Moldova is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and the defense minister is his deputy; the latter is in charge of the national army, and he controls it through the General Staff. The chief of the General Staff performs operaMoldova is a neutral state (Article tional command of the troops. 11 of the constitution), which Annual spending on Moldova’s means it does not participate in military alliances and does not armed forces amounts to around 0.4 have foreign troops stationed in percent of GDP, or about $30.4 its territory. million according to the official exchange rate. In 2014, the national army of Moldova had 6,500 military personnel and 1,500 civilian staff. Moldova’s military potential consists of three military branches: ground forces, air force, and Danube forces (analogous to a navy). Most of Moldova’s military personnel have experience of taking part in international peacekeeping activities. Commissioned officers for the national army are generally trained by the Alexander the Good Military Academy. Some officers receive training in military academies abroad.

Conceptual Framework and Mechanisms of Foreign Policy8 Geopolitically, Moldova is a country situated in a strategic crossroads, at the joint and fracture zone of different geopolitical strata based on a contact of different cultures and civilizations, and varied political and economic systems and ideologies. In the first half of the 1990s, the country was trying to find its geopolitical identity as it was acquiring real sovereignty and political independence. Moldova started to seek optimal forms of involvement and mechanisms of interaction with Western countries, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, and other nations.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

On March 6, 1994, during elections in the republic, a plebiscite called Council with People took place, with 98 percent of those polled voting for the country’s independence. The Agreement on the Establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Treaty on Economic Union, and the CIS Charter were ratified. In the second half of the 1990s, Moldova began to aspire to a more significant geopolitical role, and started to build a political foundation of contacts with Western countries and to get involved in building a regional and global security system, finding its niche in the regional economic system and building a system of fostering its own foreign economic and foreign policy interests. In 1994, the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement was signed between Moldova and the EU (it was ratified in 1998). The constitution (1994), the foreign policy concept of Moldova (1995), the military doctrine (1995), and the law on state security (1995) were the official documents that laid out the foundation of national security and national interests of Moldova in the 1990s and early 2000s. The foreign policy concept of Moldova (1995) is an amalgamation of essential provisions concerning main vectors of the country’s foreign policy and defining the strategy of its actions in relationships with other subjects of international law for the purpose of addressing the state’s national interests as fully as possible. Along with continuing fundamental missions (independence, territorial integrity, security, protecting rights of citizens including abroad), the concept identifies priorities that concern protection of state interests of Moldova in the short, middle, and long term. The concept establishes general vectors of the foreign policy line of the Moldovan state, without specifying its foreign policy priorities; it also identifies possible threats that might jeopardize the country’s security. In accordance with the concept, the republic pursues a policy of perpetual neutrality, and undertakes not to take part in armed conflicts or in political and military alliances that pursue a goal of preparing for war; moreover, the republic commits not to use its territory to station foreign military bases, not to own nuclear weapons, and not to produce or test nuclear weapons. The Moldovan state is focused on pursuing a flexible and balanced multivector foreign policy in the development of bilateral interstate relations with CIS countries. Taking into account specific features of the republic’s historical development and its geopolitical situation, the concept recognizes bilateral relations with the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and Belarus as important. The concept states that the nature of those relations determines to a large extent political stability and success of political and economic reforms in Moldova. The 1995 Doctrinal Documents

Republic of Moldova


In 1995, the national security concept and the military doctrine of Moldova were adopted. They are based on the perpetual neutrality principle declared in the constitution; that principle is the cornerstone of Moldova’s policy in the military field and security. However, since 1994, the republic has participated in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) programs Partnership for Peace and Science for Peace and Security. In 2006, Moldova’s government signed the Moldova-NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan. In 2003, Moldova started to pursue integration with the EuroTo raise public awareness of the pean Union as a strategic vector of performance of the Individual Partnership Action Plan, the Inforits foreign policy; with that aim, the mation and Documentation Center country is undertaking internal on NATO was opened in October modernization in accordance with 2007 at Moldova State University European standards. The republic’s with support from NATO’s Public foreign policy strategy is focused on Diplomacy Division. priority cooperation with Western countries. European integration was officially declared “an absolute priority of Moldovan foreign policy” and a “strategic goal.” In 2004, the European Commission included Moldova (among sixteen other states) in the European Neighborhood Policy. Going forward, the European Union backed up Moldova’s political aspirations by granting its businesses an asymmetric trade regime beginning January 1, 2008. Simultaneously, Moldova became a full-fledged member of cooperation in southeastern Europe, receiving trade preferences on 7,200 commodity items. Attempts to boost commercial relations with countries of North and Latin American, Asia, and Africa also intensified. In accordance with presidential decrees of December 22, 2005, and January 16, 2006, two national commissions of high-ranking officials were set up; by March 2006, they were to work out a revised version of the foreign policy concept and a national security concept of Moldova. A draft foreign policy concept paid special attention to Moldova’s membership in international organizations; those organizations created opportunities of cooperation with virtually all countries of the world within the framework of multilateral international relations. Membership in those organizations was thought to supplement and enlarge bilateral and regional mechanisms of pursuing fundamental national interests of Moldova and to provide access to international practices, information, statistics, expertise, sources of technical, and financial aid. Update of Doctrinal Documents, 2005–2008


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

A newly drafted version of the concept recognized enhanced efficiency of the country’s United Nations (UN) membership and involvement in activities of its specialized agencies as a priority area of Moldova’s participation in international organizations. The concept emphasized that Moldova was attaching paramount importance to the UN’s peacekeeping activities aimed at prevention and settlement of international, regional, and local conflicts. In that context, it was proclaimed that, going ahead, Moldova would be active within the framework of the UN for the purposes of international and regional security, using practices and resources of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, UNDP, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and other organizations and UN specialized agencies to promote its economic, scientific-technical, and cultural development. Moldova was to pay special attention to regional and subregional cooperation, which was thought to be a determining factor of European integration. In that context, the concept stressed the necessity of the country’s engagement in various regional projects and initiatives and of the promotion of the policy of effective economic cooperation within the framework of the CIS, which is an important market where goods from Moldova are sold, and this remains a favorable ground for further development of mutually beneficial relations in various fields. In the area of cultural and scientific international cooperation, a draft foreign policy concept provided for the intensification of Moldova’s activities within the framework of UNESCO, the Latin Union, the International Organization of the Francophonie, and other international organizations, with an aim to conserve and amplify the country’s national cultural and spiritual wealth. The Latin Union was an international organization that united Roman language–speaking countries (Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Romanian, and Catalan). It was founded in 1954 in Madrid and existed as a functional institution beginning in 1983. Thirty-six states, including Moldova, were members of the Latin Union, and four countries had observer status. The organization’s headquarters was situated in Paris. In January 2012, due to financial difficulties, a decision was made to suspend activities of the Latin Union.

An important place in the concept belonged to measures that promoted establishment and fostering of contacts with Moldovan diaspora abroad, and development of cultural and economic ties with its representatives. A draft concept also cited the need to develop other conceptual documents that would specify and elaborate some of its provisions, especially

Republic of Moldova


insofar as Moldova’s European integration, promotional of national security interests, economic diplomacy, neutrality policy, cultural policy, and the like, were concerned. While the foreign policy concept was not approved by the parliament, many of its provisions were echoed by various government programs and foreign policy projects. In May 2008, the parliament of Moldova passed a law by which it approved a national security concept. In order to elaborate and implement provisions of the national security concept, the government approved a national security strategy in 2011, defining threats and risks, as well as missions and means and methods to promote the country’s national security. That midterm political and legal document allows Moldova to adapt national security policy to changes in the country’s domestic situation and in its international surroundings, to identify segments of the national security system that need reforms, and to develop plans and programs of those reforms. The national security concept and strategy are based on the understanding that national security of an individual European state can no longer be perceived in isolation. Instability and threats on the European continent affect the security of all European states and require active international cooperation and joint efforts. According to the concept, Moldova’s national security is inconceivable outside of the context of European security, in particular outside of the European Union. Considering the fact that the EU is the dominating security factor in the region, the country’s leaders have made and continue to make certain efforts to bring the nation further toward European integration. Within the framework of that process, special attention is paid to the expansion of cooperation with the EU under the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP), which are aimed at reinforcement of national and regional security. Moldova collaborates with the EU in prevention and settlement of conflicts and crises, nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction weapons, and so forth. In accordance with the national security concept, it is necessary to actively use multilateral cooperation within the framework of the UN, and cooperation with the EU, Council of Europe, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), NATO, Central European Initiative, SouthEast European Cooperation Process, and other international organizations and initiatives. That cooperation must include prevention and settlement of regional and internal conflicts; discussing and addressing issues of global and regional security that affect national security; measures against The 2011 National Security Strategy


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

international terrorism and cross-border crime; prevention of environmental degradation and propagation of contagious diseases; nonproliferation of mass destruction weapons; antipoverty programs; and so forth. Taking into account a long duration of conflicts threatening regional security, territorial integrity, and independence of sovereign states, Moldova supports creation, within the framework of relevant international organizations, in particular the UN, EU, and OSCE, of effective mechanisms of mediation, prevention, and management of crises and conflicts, and verification of compliance with obligations assumed by member states. The strategy states that Moldova’s European integration process is the main instrument that protects national security and promotes state interests. In this regard, the following missions were proclaimed to be priorities of the country’s foreign policy in the context of national security and effective promotion of national interests: the country’s integration with the EU; maintaining mutually beneficial relations and establishment of strategic cooperation with key strategic partners; and development of international cooperation with an aim of assimilation of practices of EU countries in building an effective national security sector. Cooperation in security-related areas within the framework of the CIS is governed by the obligations the country assumed when it was joining the organization; according to them, the republic does not participate in discussing military and political issues. Therefore, in the relations within the framework of the CIS, Moldova’s focus today is on economic cooperation that affects its economic and energy security and on bilateral relations with CIS member nations. Regarding cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, relations are carried out within the framework of the Partnership for Peace program and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), and they are translated into practice in accordance with the Moldova-NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan, without violating the constitutional provision about the country’s status of perpetual neutrality. Since November 1994, Moldova has been an associated member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. In implementing its national security concept and strategy, Moldova pursues bilateral cooperation in security with EU member nations, the United States, the Russian Federation, and neighboring countries Ukraine and Romania. State bodies involved in the foreign policy decisionmaking process can be classified as follows. First are supreme public authority bodies of general competence that the constitution of Moldova (July 29, 1994) and legislation Role of Supreme Public Authority Bodies

Republic of Moldova


vest with certain powers in carrying out foreign policy. Those are the president, the government, and the parliament. Second is a specialized state foreign policy agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration. Third are public authority bodies specializing in matters other than carrying out foreign policy but vested by legislation with certain foreign policy powers—for instance the Supreme Security Council, the Information and Security Service, and the Ministry of Defense. Supreme public authority bodies are an essential part of the organizational foundation of the constitutional and legal framework regulating the foreign policy of Moldova. In accordance with the constitution and legislation of Moldova, supreme public authority bodies make decisions on foreign policy issues, and those decisions must be mandatorily carried out across the entire territory of the country. The president of Moldova is the head of state and guarantor of the country’s sovereignty, national security, independence, unity, and territorial integrity. The president personifies the state and represents it at the highest level abroad. As an official representative of the state, the president holds negotiations, and takes part in negotiations, signs international treaties on behalf of Moldova and submits them to the parliament for ratification within time limits and according to the procedure prescribed by laws. At the government’s suggestion, he accredits and recalls diplomatic representatives of Moldova, establishes or abolishes diplomatic missions and diplomatic ranks, and receives credentials and letters of recall of diplomatic representatives of other states appointed to Moldova (Article 86 of the constitution). In the area of foreign policy activities, the parliament is vested with the following powers and authorities: it approves principal vectors of the state’s foreign policy and the military doctrine; performs parliamentary control of the executive branch in forms and within the limits stipulated by the constitution; ratifies, denounces, suspends, and terminates international treaties entered into by Moldova; approves the state budget and performs control over provision of state loans and economic and other aid to foreign countries, except for agreements on state loans and credits from foreign sources; and elects and appoints public officials to the government (Article 66 of the constitution). Draft laws submitted by the government to the parliament are reviewed at meetings of the Parliamentary Commission for Foreign Policy and European Integration according to a regular or extraordinary procedure and are discussed afterward at sessions of the parliament (Article 74 of the constitution). The government of Moldova carries out domestic and foreign policy of the state, has general oversight of public administration, and is responsible to the parliament for its decisions and actions. When exercising its powers,


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

the government is guided by the constitution, other laws of the republic, decrees of the president, international treaties to which Moldova is a party, and a program of activities approved by the parliament. The minister of foreign affairs and European integration is a deputy prime minister. The principal powers vested in the government in the area of foreign policy are holding negotiations and taking part in them; granting authorities to initiate negotiations and sign treaties; entering into international treaties and controlling their implementation; establishment of comprehensive relations between Moldova and foreign states and international organizations; submitting proposals to the president of Moldova regarding accreditation and recall of diplomatic representatives; establishment, cancellation, and change of the status of diplomatic missions; representing Moldova in international relations; and pursuing a single and consistent foreign policy. During its resignation (a no-confidence vote by the parliament, resignation of the prime minister, or election a new parliament), the government of Moldova is limited only in its right to carry out foreign policy and in its authority to put forward legislative initiatives in areas that require development and approval of new programs of activities. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration is a central public authority body that directly reports to the government of Moldova. In accordance with regulations of August 22, 2011, the ministry carries out foreign policy in the promotion of national interests and, among other things, monitors and coordinates the process of the country’s European integration, within the framework of legislation and the government’s programs. Structurally, the ministry consists of its leaders; the cabinet of the minister, who is also a deputy prime minister (with a status of a service); State Diplomatic Protocol (with a status of a directorate); General Directorate for European Integration; General Directorate for Bilateral Cooperation; General Directorate for Multilateral Cooperation; General Directorate for International Law; General Directorate for Consular Affairs; Directorate for the Analysis, Monitoring, and Policies Evaluation; Directorate for Personnel, Legislation, and Legal Proceedings; Internal Audit Service; Mass Media and Public Relations Service; Directorate for Budget and Finance; Directorate for Documentation, Special Issues, and Diplomatic State Archives; Directorate for Management and Logistics; Department of Building Maintenance. The ministry performs the following main functions: develops documents and legislative acts in accordance with priorities of the country’s foreign policy and European integration specified in the government’s program of activities; takes part in the development, implementation, monitorThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration

Republic of Moldova


ing, and evaluation of documents regulating state and sectoral policies; ensures representation of Moldova in international relations in the country and abroad; performs monitoring and control of the application and respect of legislative framework in the area of international cooperation; drafts a legislative framework for the establishment and functioning of diplomatic service bodies of Moldova, as well as proposals for its amendment; and manages the ministry’s assets and property. In order to carry out its principal functions, the ministry performs the following tasks: protects and promotes national interests of Moldova on the international stage and ensures unity of the state’s foreign policy; initiates and organizes international events and fosters diplomatic relations and cooperation with all countries worldwide on the basis of principles and rules of international law; represents Moldova in international organizations and in its relations with the European Union, as well as at meetings, conferences, and international forums; takes part in the development of the mandate of official delegations of Moldova at international conferences and meetings, as well as at events organized within the framework of a dialogue with the European Union; considers and submits proposals for the harmonization of national policy with European standards; coordinates actions at the national level to implement decisions made by the European Union; and harnesses and consolidates required international support for the resolution of the Transnistrian issue. The Supreme Security Council is a consultative body vested with specific foreign policy powers. It performs the following functions: gives advice to the president on matters of national security; submits recommendations on matters of the state’s foreign and domestic policy to the president; considers drafts of resolutions on the amendment and enlargement of the national security concept, military doctrine, and foreign policy concept; develops principal vectors of Moldova’s cooperation with other states in the military and political area, including drafts of international treaties and reports of heads of public authority bodies related to national security; submits proposals for the deployment and redeployment of military units across the territory of Moldova in peacetime, as well as those that govern their participation in international peacekeeping activities; analyzes activities of the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Ministry of Interior, Information and Security Service, Department of Civilian Protection and Emergency Situations, and other ministries and departments in the area of national security; and revises the progress of implementation of decrees and other resolutions of the president of Moldova on national security issues. Foreign Policy Powers of the Supreme Security Council


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

The Supreme Security Council is chaired by the president of Moldova (who is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces), and its secretary is the president’s defense and national security adviser. The Supreme Security Council includes the minister of finance, director of the Information and Security Service, minister of interior, chairman of the parliament, director of the Anti-Corruption National Center, president of Moldova’s Academy of Sciences, deputy prime minister, minister of foreign affairs and European integration, prosecutor general, heads of some parliamentary factions, general secretary of the administrative office of the president, prime minister, defense minister, and chairman of the Parliamentary Commission for National Security, Defense, and Public Order. Representatives of opposition parties in the parliament are not included in the country’s Supreme Security Council. Consultative Structures and Civil Society in the Foreign Policy Process

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration is authorized to set up councils, boards, commissions, expert groups and other consultative bodies to ensure performance of its duties within its purview; in addition, it can establish interagency structures to address certain issues or ensure fulfillment of international commitments that require involvement of other agencies or institutions. After the signing of Moldova’s association agreement with the EU (June 27, 2014), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration contacted nongovernmental organizations with a proposal to set up a joint civil society platform that would consist of representatives of EU countries and Moldova to discuss and exchange information on the efficiency of the implementation of that agreement. In particular, representatives of Romania are involved in that process— in particular those who can open their offices in Chisinau. For instance, Victor Negrescu (member of the European Parliament from Romania’s Social Democratic Party) opened his office in Chisinau on October 6, 2014, to provide additional backing to Moldova’s European line and cooperation with all interested parties in European policy. Foreign Policy Priorities Settlement of the Conflict in Transnistria9

A few phases and stages can be identified in the evolution of the Transnistrian conflict, with a certain degree of conventionality: the beginning of the conflict, more active clashes, spiraling of the conflict, military-political

Republic of Moldova


crisis, armed standoff, and deescalation of the conflict. Today it is a “frozen” conflict, and a low-intensity confrontation is also taking place. One essential feature of the conflict is its quick fermentation and development, as well as significant overlapping of different phases and stages of the conflict. The situation started to aggravate in the late 1980s, and exacerbated between 1989 and 1991. The most important prerequisites for the conflict were the declaration of sovereignty by Moldova (June 23, 1990) and the Transnistrian Moldovan Republic (September 2, 1990); the passage of the law on citizenship of Moldova (June 5, 1991); the declaration of Moldova’s independence (September 27, 1991); a referendum on independence in Transnistria and election of the president of the Transnistrian Moldovan Republic (December 1, 1991); the creation of a department for the interior in the government of the Transnistrian Moldovan Republic (March 5, 1991) and completion of formation of Transnistrian militia units by late 1991; and the passage of the resolution On Measures to Protect Sovereignty and Independence of the Republic (September 6, 1991) by the Supreme Council of Transnistria, which laid out the foundation for the creation of Transnistria’s armed forces. Formation of parallel armed units led to a first armed clash with security agencies of the central government on December 13, 1991. In that moment, the conflict between Chisinau and Tiraspol transformed into a military and political crisis. The “hot” phase of the conflict included hostilities in Transnistria (from March 2 to August 1, 1992), during which the sides used aircraft, armored vehicles, and artillery. Means of electronic warfare were also used, as well as sabotage and reconnaissance methods from the modern warcraft arsenal. On March 28, 1992, Moldovan president Mircea Snegur issued a decree declaring a state of emergency in the country’s entire territory and ordering disarmament of illegal armed units and arrest of “state criminals.” Igor Smirnov imposed a curfew in the Transnistrian Moldovan Republic. Before that, the state of emergency and a special form of government had been introduced in what is today Moldova only once—in individual inhabited locations in the republic’s southern districts (October 26 to December 6, 1990), in connection with the establishment of the Gagauz Republic in the town of Comrat. In furtherance of a decree of the president of Moldova dated March 28, 1992, the country’s parliament instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Moldova on March 31, 1992, to submit relevant proposals to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation regarding opening of Russia’s embassy in Chisinau, as well as hailed negotiations and consultations on the issue of the Dniester left bank between representatives of the foreign


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

affairs ministries of the Russian Federation, Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine. However, hostilities continued and were taking place in several areas (Bender, Dubasari, etc.). Estimates of how many victims the conflict claimed vary. Presumably, about 1,000 people died on both sides, including around 400 civilians, and about 4,500 people were wounded. In the second half of 1992, negotiations on the status of Transnistria began with Russia’s mediation; the OSCE joined the peaceful settlement in 1993, and Ukraine in 1995. In August 1992, based on an agreement between presidents of the Russian Federation and Moldova of July 21, 1992, on principles of peaceful settlement of the armed conflict, a peacekeeping operation began in Transnistria, which has continued since. Mixed peacekeeping forces (Russian, Transnistrian, and Moldovan battalions with a total strength of 1,800 people) were stationed in the security zone. For the first time ever in peacemaking efforts, a peacekeeping contingent included representatives of the both sides involved in a conflict—Moldova and Transnistria. Formation of a joint control commission, joint military command, and institution of military observers was generally performed by the three parties on a parity basis. In addition to Russia, Moldova, and Transnistria, representatives of Ukraine were also present in the security zone as military observers. Those measures created a proper environment for the negotiation process, as a result of which a pentalateral negotiation format emerged: Transnistria, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and the OSCE; and in 2006 the United States and the EU joined the negotiations as observers. The Russian Federation and Ukraine were intermediaries and guarantors of the accords, and the OSCE was also a mediator of the negotiation process. One of the principal political initiatives was the Moscow memorandum on normalization of relations between Moldova and Transnistria, signed on May 8, 1997, by presidents of the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Moldova, Transnistria, and the chairman of the OSCE. According to the memorandum, political prospects of the Transnistrian settlement lie in building a common state of Moldova and Transnistria. Under pressure from Western diplomats and opposition rallies ahead of the document’s signing in Chisinau, where Russian president Vladimir Putin was to take part, Vladimir Voronin, Moldova’s president (2001– 2009), terminated the memorandum, which caused estrangement in Russian-Moldovan relations and led to a break in the negotiation process. Amid a crisis in the negotiation process, Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko put forward a settlement initiative in May 2005. In accordance with the Yushchenko plan, Moldova was to remain the only subject of international law, and Transnistria was to become its constituent republic, with its own constitution, symbols, three official languages (Moldovan, Ukrainian, and Russian), and the right to establish international contacts in economic and humanitarian sectors.

Republic of Moldova


Since multiple infractions were occurring at the Moldovan-Ukrainian border (1,222 kilometers long), presidents of Moldova and Ukraine submitted a joint communiqué to the European Commission in 2005 requesting the opening of a European Union Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM) to Moldova and Ukraine. This was necessary in order to foster peaceful settlement of the simmering conflict in Transnistria, which also adjoins the same border along 453 kilometers. EUBAM, a consultative-technical body funded by the European Union within the framework of the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), began its activities on November 30, 2005. The mission was mandated to enhance the border-management capacities of the partners, foremost border guard and customs authorities, as well as other law enforcement and state agencies of Moldova and Ukraine. By offering comprehensive support to the partners on EU best practices from its headquarters in Odessa and six field offices on either side of the Moldova-Ukraine common border, EUBAM encourages trade and envisages that border control and customs procedures and standards in Moldova and Ukraine will ultimately mirror those prevalent in the European Union. Since the signing of association agreements with the EU by Moldova and Ukraine in 2014, special emphasis has been given to the fulfillment of their requirements, including those related with a free trade zone. In a broader context and within the framework of the European Neighborhood Policy, EUBAM represents an instrument by which the EU strives, on the one hand, to encourage development of legal trade and travel, and, on the other, to guarantee security for its citizens and to fight crime. The legal basis for EUBAM is a memorandum of understanding signed in late 2005 by the European Commission, the government of Moldova, and the government of Ukraine; the mission’s governing body is its advisory board, which meets twice a year. Neutrality, partnership, reliability, results, service, and transparency are the mission’s six cherished core values. International Military Cooperation10

In 1994, Moldova signed a framework document to participate in NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, and thus joined eleven other participants. The Moldova-NATO Individual Partnership Program (2006) specifies the republic’s commitments in promoting democratic reforms, and in development of the judicial system and scientific research. The military component (training of Moldovan military personnel by instructors from NATO countries) accounts for a rather small part of expenses. With the assistance of NATO’s instructors, Moldova’s army was able to get rid of landmines—the first country in the region to do so. The Moldova-NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan also provides for reforms of the country’s entire security and defense system on NATO principles and for the adoption of the North Atlantic alliance’s standards by Moldova’s national army.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

In 2011, the United States, based on a military cooperation memorandum signed in December 1995, donated to Moldova’s army motor vehicles from US military bases stationed in Germany, Turkey, Spain, and Italy. In May 2012, Moldova and Lithuania signed an agreement on cooperation in the defense sector. In 2012, within the framework of the Global Peace Operations Initiative, the United States allocated $1.6 million for development of the infrastructure of Moldova’s army. To reinforce the country’s security and combat effectiveness, the national army of Moldova collaborates internationally with the UN, OSCE, Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe, Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, and other security structures. NATO assists in reforming Moldova’s national army and training in top priority areas identified for it, such as scientific-technical cooperation for peace and security and strengthening the state’s integrity. To forestall a possible military attack and to prevent deployment and advance of troops of a potential enemy, every year Moldovan army takes part in NATO exercises, which take place on territories of seventeen countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Special emphasis is made on drills that improve interaction within multinational military formations, as well as actions of special, air mobile, airborne, and reconnaissance units. One integral part of Moldovan defense ministry’s military cooperation is bilateral relations with colleagues from the Russian Federation. In 2014, over twenty-four agreements in military cooperation were signed at various levels between Moldova and Russia, in particular those concerning peacekeeping forces in the security zone of the Transnistrian region. The Russian Vector11

Diplomatic relations between Moldova and the Russian Federation were established on April 6, 1992. Their treaty legal framework consists of over 162 bilateral documents, as well as 28 cooperation agreements with Russian regions. The basic political bilateral treaty, the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, was signed on November 19, 2001, in Moscow. It was signed for ten years with an option of renewal for the same period unless either party declares its intention to terminate. On November 22, 2011, the treaty was renewed for another ten years. The Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation establishes basic principles of bilateral interaction in political, economic, legal, scientific-technical, humanitarian, and other areas and is a guarantee of progressive development of the partnership. Cooperation with Russia continues to move forward both on a bilateral basis and at the level of multilateral cooperation within the framework of the CIS. Notwithstanding a strong treaty and legal basis, for a number of political (and geopolitical) reasons Russia imposed a ban on import of Mol-

Republic of Moldova


dovan wine and some other agricultural products for the first time in September 2005, and declared its intention to raise the gas price to the European level. In mid-October 2005, the Agreement on Prospects of Cooperation of the Russian and Transnistrian Business Communities was signed, which paved the way for large-scale economic operations of Russian businesses in the unrecognized republic. After the signing of the association agreement with the EU (June 27, 2014), Moldova was faced with the necessity of finding a balance in its relations with the EU and Russia, with the latter one of the republic’s key trade partners, the principal source of cash transfers, as well as a major supplier of energy resources. Geopolitically, Russia’s stance toward Moldova is driven by the need to see it keep its perpetual neutrality based on the constitution of Moldova. Moldova’s economy is still focused on Russia and the CIS; an absolute majority of Moldovan migrant workers (over 60 percent) travel across the CIS to earn their living, and the bulk of cash transfers comes from those countries. The economic sectors focused on Russia and other CIS countries are, first of all, traditional sectors of Moldovan economy: horticulture, viniculture and winemaking, production of textiles, and cosmetics and perfumery. Therefore, cooperation with the CIS is regarded by Moldova from the standpoint of pragmatism and is determined by dependence on commodity sources and traditional markets for distribution of local produce. The country emphasizes that European integration does not entail any deterioration of relations with Russia. The European and Euro-Atlantic Vectors12

Strategic missions of European integration of Moldova were identified conceptually for the first time in December 2002, after the establishment of the National Commission for European Integration. The country was to take part in all initiatives and programs associated with the EU (Stability and Growth Pact, in which Moldova takes part as a full-fledged member; Stabilization and Association Process for Southeastern Europe). Before 2014, relations between the EU and Moldova were based on the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (1994) and the European Neighborhood Policy Action Plan (2005), which were replaced with the association agreement between the EU and Moldova on September 1, 2014, which included a comprehensive free trade agreement. The association agreement with the EU is an international bilateral treaty that creates the foundation for cooperation in an array of fields (trade, policy, security, and culture), as well as for political and economic integration. The EU’s aid (organizational, advisory, financial aid, etc.) is used to support implementation of key reforms in the justice, education, economic development, and energy sectors.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

The individual action plan within the framework of Moldova-NATO cooperation was negotiated by the parties and approved by the NATO Council on May 19, 2006, and on May 24 of the same year it was approved by Moldova’s government. It had the following main provisions: expansion of cooperation with NATO in all security sectors and participation in joint operations, improvement of the level of combat readiness of Moldovan military personnel, and conversion of the Moldovan army to NATO standards; support to the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty; Moldova’s integration into the European Union and other Euro-Atlantic structures without joining NATO; and reform of the legal and electoral systems, central and regional administrations, as well as the parliament’s regulations, in order to bring them in line with European Union standards. NATO is ready to help Moldova analyze its defense potential and identify areas that need to be developed. The republic takes part in the Partnership Action Plan Against Terrorism, and collaborates with partners in order to reinforce national counterterrorism capabilities and to increase security of borders and infrastructure. The individual action plan remained in force until 2016. In November 2014, the European Union signed with Moldova a memorandum of understanding on the single-support framework to support the process of creating a comprehensive free trade area. The document set out the framework of the strategic further assistance for Moldova the period 2014–2017 in three priority areas: public administration reform, agriculture and rural development, and police reform and border management. In the general context of Moldova’s relations with European Union countries, cooperation with Romania stands out. Diplomatic relations with that country were established on August 29, 1991. The treaty and legal basis of Moldovan-Romanian relations consists of 163 documents. In a program of the government of Moldova for 2015–2018, Romania is regarded as a strategic partner in the European integration of Moldova. Romania has not signed and does not plan to sign a primary political treaty with Moldova. In the opinion of the Romanian side, such treaties are a vestige of the 1990s, and at present Bucharest sees no reason to enter into one with official Chisinau. Moldova is the only neighboring nation of Romania with which Bucharest has not signed such a treaty. Moldova’s Involvement in CIS Activities13

Moldova signed the Alma-Ata Protocol on the Establishment of the CIS on December 21, 1991, and remained an associated member of the organization until ratification of the CIS Charter on April 8, 1994. The protocol is regarded as an integral part of the Agreement on the Establishment of the CIS. Heads of member nations signed an Agreement on CIS Coordination Institutions, in accordance with which the CIS supreme body was set up—

Republic of Moldova


the Council of Heads of States, as well as the Council of Heads of Governments. From January 1 to September 11, 2009, Moldova’s president was chairman of the Council of Heads of States of the CIS. According to the CIS Charter, Moldova is a CIS member state. In the interests of harmonization of national legislations of CIS countries, the Interparliamentary Assembly of CIS Member States was founded on March 27, 1992, in accordance with the Alma-Ata Protocol. In 1995, a parliamentary delegation of Moldova joined the Interparliamentary Assembly’s work as a new member. Cooperation in economy is of key significance for the entire network of ties between countries of the Commonwealth. On February 14, 1992, presidents of CIS member nations met in Minsk and signed a number of essential accords on trade and economic cooperation, customs policy, and transport, and a declaration on principles of cooperation within the framework of the Commonwealth. The idea of building a free trade zone is implied in the Treaty on Economic Union (September 24, 1993, Moscow), which was ratified by Moldova, among others. The Agreement on the Creation of a Free Trade Zone (April 15, 1994) represents a multilateral treaty and legal framework of trade and economic relations between CIS countries based on mutual preferences. With an aim to develop and reinforce integrational economic processes across the CIS space, the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) was set up. On May 13, 2002, Moldova was granted observer status at EurAsEC. The Treaty on a Free Trade Zone between CIS countries, signed in 2011 in St. Petersburg, was ratified by Moldova’s parliament on September 27, 2012. The treaty envisages forming a common treaty framework in line with today’s requirements for full-scale liberalization of trade across the CIS and cutting back the number of agreements (multilateral and bilateral) that CIS members used to govern their relations. Provisions of the treaty articles are based on World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and standards. The Treaty on a Free Trade Zone includes provisions adapted to the specific nature of trade relations in the CIS, and those provisions are similar to some clauses of agreements executed by Moldova within the framework of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA). Provisions of the Treaty on a Free-Trade Zone aim to ensure a stable legislative framework for Commonwealth countries with a simplified legal basis for trade operations and a high level of transparency. Simplification of a regional trade regime in a free trade zone means improvement of trade relations between signatory nations; application of a zero customs duty on more than 10,000 groups of goods; gradual abandonment of taxes on the products that are excluded from the free trade regime; and a commitment to refrain from


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

imposing new trade restrictions. The treaty also provides for the preservation of an export customs duty on natural gas, raw materials for heavy industry, and timber from Russia. Since 2015, Moldova has sought to deepen trade and economic relations with Belarus and Kazakhstan. Moldova’s Activities in GUAM14

The Organization for Democracy and Economic Development, comprising Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova (GUAM), is a regional union that was institutionally transformed into an international organization in May 2006. As its principal goals, GUAM pursues democratic values, stable progress, deeper European integration for the creation of a common security space, and development of the socioeconomic, transport, energy, scientific-technical, and humanitarian potential of the parties. In 2014, the Vilnius summit of the Eastern Partnership proclaimed European affiliation of the GUAM space, opening up new opportunities for the group. GUAM’s activities are carried out in several areas: political interaction (rapprochement of GUAM member nations’ positions on a wide spectrum of issues of international and regional cooperation); and industry-focused cooperation (in economy and trade, transport, energy, information technology, science and education, tourism, crime, prevention of emergency situations and control of their fallout, consular cooperation). When Moldova chaired GUAM (2014), it was tasked with organizing a series of meetings between GUAM and the United States, Japan, Visegrád Group countries, the Baltic and Scandinavian countries, and the Pacific Alliance; the purpose was to promote a political dialogue on a broad range of matters of international cooperation, including peaceful settlement of conflicts in the region, as well as drafting projects of industry-specific cooperation in the GUAM+ format. Prospective Vectors of Foreign Policy15

As the system of international relations was undergoing transformation, the confrontation between the East and the West was growing deeper, and the principle of multipolarity in international relations started to take the foreground. New trends emerged in Moldova’s foreign policy, outlined even more clearly after the November 2016 presidential election. Election of Igor Dodon as Moldova’s president was regarded by some experts as a victory of pro-Russian forces in the republic and Eastern Europe at large, if the outcome of the Bulgarian election is also to be taken into account, because Dodon is a proponent of a stronger Moldovan statehood, preservation of the country’s neutrality, and development of relations with both the West and the East, foremost with Russia. He also opposes Moldova’s merger with Romania.

Republic of Moldova


The January 2017 summit of presidents of the Russian Federation and Moldova, Vladimir Putin and Igor Dodon, confirmed the trends of a new foreign policy line to be pursued by Moldova. At the same time, the existing structure of the powers and authorities in the area of foreign policy in Moldova will not allow the country’s president to make any radical changes without support of the parliamentary majority. It would appear that the best option for Moldova is to keep its status of an associated member of the EU and to acquire the status of an associated member of EurAsEC, to keep its status of a neutral state and refrain from joining NATO, to reinforce ties both with Russia and with the EU, as well as the rest of the world, including with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). That way, the country would continue to be a sort of a bridge between them. The mission could become possible if President Dodon and the political forces that back him get a majority of votes in the parliamentary election. Economic Diplomacy16 In the context of today’s economic development, requirements for the development and implementation of administration systems managing national economic diplomacy become increasingly relevant. From 1997 to 2014, Moldova’s exports climbed by 2.7 times; export to CIS countries was up by 21 percent, to EU countries 6.7 times, and to other countries 4.5 times. A similar situation is observed in imports, where, with a total growth of 4.5 times, the increase across CIS countries was 2.4 times, across EU countries 5.7 times, and across other countries 11.1 times (see Table 7.1). The exponential growth of Moldova’s imports in general and in terms of individual groups of countries affects the trade balance in an adverse way, with trade deficit spiking by $2.7 billion, or ten times, during the analyzed period. As a result, the country’s trade deficit today is 27 percent bigger than its exports. The principal “creators” of Moldova’s trade deficit are the EU (44 percent) and other countries (32 percent), with CIS countries responsible for 24 percent of the deficit. The structure of exports and imports changed significantly in terms of individual groups of countries. For instance, the ratio of CIS countries in Moldova’s exports declined from 70 percent in 1997 to 31 percent in 2014, the ratio of EU countries grew from 21 percent to 53 percent, and that of other countries climbed from 9 percent to 15 percent. In Moldova’s imports, the contribution of CIS countries plunged from 52 Special Features of Foreign Economic Relations


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Table 7.1 Exports and Imports of Moldova, 1997–2014 ($ millions) 1997





Trade balance, total –297.2 with CIS countries 3.8 with European Union a countries (EU-27) –264.3 with other countries –36.6 Exports, total 874.0 to CIS countries 608.3 to European Union countries (EU-27)a 185.5 to other countries 80.2 Imports, total 1,171.3 from CIS countries 604.5 from European Union countries 449.8 from other countries 116.9

–305.0 16.3

–1,201.4 –354.0

–2,313.8 –632.8

–2,977.4 –713.6

–248.0 –73.3 471.5 276.1

–595.6 –251.8 1,090.9 551.2

–975.3 –705.7 1,541.5 624.0

–1,321.7 –942.1 2,339.5 735.6

165.3 30.1 776.4 259.8

443.2 96.5 2,292.3 905.2

728.9 188.5 3,855.3 1,256.9

1,246.0 357.9 5,317.0 1,449.2

413.2 103.4

1,038.8 348.3

1,704.3 894.2

2,567.7 1,300.0

Source: Customs Service of the Republic of Moldova (export and import customs declarations of economic operators). Note: a. After Croatia joined the EU in 2013, the EU became a group of twenty-eight countries.

percent in 1997 to 27 percent in 2014, that of EU countries expanded from 38 percent to 48 percent, and that of other countries increased from 10 percent to 25 percent. Among principal consumers of Moldovan exports in 2014, the most important were Romania ($434 million), Russia ($424 million), Italy ($243 million), Germany ($138 million), Belarus ($135 million), Ukraine ($109 million), the United Kingdom ($108 million), and Turkey ($105 million). In terms of imports to the Moldovan market, the leaders were Romania ($803 million), Russia ($717 million), Ukraine ($546 million), China ($481 million), Germany ($427 million), Italy ($351 million), Turkey ($301 million), Poland ($155 million), Belarus ($142 million), and Austria ($110 million). On the whole, 2014 was the worst year (since 2010) for importers bringing goods to Moldova from Belarus, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine, as competitors were steadily driving those countries away from the Moldovan market. At the same time, that year was the best in Moldova’s entire modern economic history for importers from the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, China, Poland, and Romania, which are expanding their foothold in the Moldovan market. An important element of the infrastructure of foreign economic ties is represented by seven industrial parks, seven free trade economic zones, and the international free river port of Giurgiulesti and the international free airport of Marculesti, in the operations of which foreign investors take part.

Republic of Moldova


It became possible to build the international free port of Giurgiulesti after the signing of an agreement on the exchange of land plots between Moldova and Ukraine. Moldova received part of Ukrainian territory, including 430 meters of a river bank on the Danube, and transferred to Ukraine the land under the Odessa-Izmail road near the village of Palanca (8 kilometers of a road that ran across Moldova). It is part of the seventh pan-European transport corridor (Danube Corridor) and of the Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia (TRACECA), and can be used not only for Moldova’s imports and exports but also for transshipment of cargo to and from the European Union and other countries of the Danube basin. Many parties became involved in the development of that project at various stages of its implementation, including Moldova’s parliament and government, the EU and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), enterprises and organizations from Azerbaijan, and international corporations (from Holland, Switzerland, Romania, etc.)—which required major diplomatic, organizational, economic, and other efforts.

Economic diplomacy is pursued both at the bilateral level and within the framework of multilateral economic organizations. Those are units of the UN, IMF, WTO, Council of Europe, CIS, CEFTA, the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), IBRD, EBRD, and so forth. Moldova enjoys autonomous trade preferences from the EU, and is getting ready to implement a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU. Moldova carries out multivector economic diplomacy activities. Subject to a consensus within those international groups, Moldovan goods can obtain free access to the EU, CIS, and CEFTA markets, which in total have a population of about 800 million potential consumers. A new legal framework of political association and economic integration is set out by the association agreement between Moldova and the EU signed on June 27, 2014. A proper context for Moldova’s international economic cooperation is ensured within the framework of the concept of economic diplomacy; it occupies a certain place in the activities of the public authorities that formulate, plan, and pursue foreign policy and its economic vector. Those functions are performed by the president, parliament (via laws and resolutions), government, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Ministry of Economy, Moldovan Investment and Export Promotion Organization, the country’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and nongovernmental and other organizations. Intergovernmental commissions on Moldova’s trade-economic and scientific-technical cooperation with foreign countries are governed in their activities by standard regulations on activities of Moldovan representatives in intergovernmental mixed commissions on economic, trade, Instruments of Moldova’s Economic Diplomacy


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

and scientific-technical cooperation as approved on September 3, 1998. In April 2015, the government of Moldova approved nomination of heads of Moldovan delegations to twenty-nine intergovernmental commissions: with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and other countries. Commissions allow pursuit of a more active economic, social, and cultural cooperation and sharing of experiences between Moldova and partner countries. A considerable scope of activities aimed at providing a proper environment for the republic’s international economic cooperation is performed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration; it used to have a Directorate for International Economic Relations functioning as one of its units. Planning of economic diplomacy activities of the ministry and diplomatic missions was performed within the framework of the 2006–2015 Investment and Export Promotion Strategy. The international legal basis is composed of the trade regime within the framework of GUAM (including the Agreement on the Creation of a Free Trade Zone between the organization’s member nations), the trade regime within the framework of the World Trade Organization, agreements for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and capital gains signed by Moldova with thirty-five states, and agreements on promotion and mutual protection of investments entered into by Moldova with thirty-seven countries. Development of Moldovan-Russian economic relations over the period 2009–2020 is governed by the Program of Economic Cooperation between Moldova and the Russian Federation dated November 14, 2008. Monitoring of the program’s implementation is the responsibility of the Intergovernmental Moldovan-Russian Commission. Moldova’s Ministry of Economy focuses its activities in international economic cooperation on more active bilateral relations with foreign partners and multilateral cooperation within the framework of regional economic organizations. Backing of economic reforms was proclaimed as the principal goal of that cooperation. Building and reinforcing the national image in the country and abroad has always been driven by events organized by Moldova or in which the country takes part. Those events are purported to demonstrate the country’s investment opportunities to international businesspeople, to promote domestic products and services in international markets. Expo 2015, hosted by Milan from May 1 to October 31, 2015, was an important promotional event for Moldova. Participation in that event allowed the country to showcase Moldova’s traditions, creative pursuits, and innovations, and gave it an opportunity to advertise national cultural, scientific, and technical values in European and global markets. Within the structure of the Ministry of Economy is the General Directorate for Foreign Economic Relations and Cooperation, which has sub-

Republic of Moldova


division directorates. In order to further investment processes in the country’s economy, the government issued a resolution in February 2014 to transform the Moldova Export Promotion Organization into the Moldova Investment and Export Promotion Organization (MIEPO). MIEPO’s mission is to contribute to sustainable development of Moldova’s economy by boosting competitiveness of businesses operating or intending to operate in the republic’s territory, to diversify markets, and to enlarge exports and develop investment projects in the country’s territory in accordance with priorities of the Ministry of Economy. One important vector of Moldova’s economic diplomacy is participation in activities of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. In July 2012, Victor Tsvirkun, representative of Moldova, was the secretary-general of the permanent international secretariat of that organization. Within the framework of the BSEC, twenty top priority areas of joint activities are pursued, in accordance with the charter: in trade and economic development; banking and finance; communications; energy; transport; agriculture and agricultural production; healthcare and pharmaceuticals; environmental protection; tourism; science and technology; exchange of statistical data and economic information; cooperation between customs and border security services; the fight against organized crime, narcotics, and trafficking in arms and radioactive materials; terrorism and illegal migration; control of the fallout of emergencies; small and medium-sized businesses; education; institutional reforms; and efficient governance. Moldova is also engaged in those activities. The document included five main sections: main priorities, sectoral top priority objectives, priorities in the activities of the Parliamentary From January to June 2015, Assembly, priorities of the Business Moldova was chairman of the Council, and relations with internaBSEC. A special paper was pretional and regional organizations. pared on the country’s priority Among the main priorities, the activities in that period of holding Moldovan side attaches a special a position of responsibility. importance to a host of activities such as expansion of the projectoriented agenda of the organization’s functioning, improvement of the interaction between the BSEC and the EU, as well as BSEC reform and streamlining its activities. Within the framework of the BSEC, Moldova’s participation in the project of an automobile ring road around the Black Sea on the terms of a public-private partnership is discussed. The ring road, some sections of which have been built (in Turkey, Greece, Romania, etc.), will be provided with The Black Sea Economic Cooperation


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

modern infrastructure (accommodation, food, other services). The project’s implementation will foster creation of new jobs in the construction and other industries that ensure functioning and maintenance of the ring road and its infrastructure. Opportunities will emerge to intensify cross-border trade, to deepen harmonization of the national legislative framework and regulation of documents of BSEC member nations, to enhance the quality of transport and tourist services in the region, and so forth. Moldova takes an active part in the implementation of the Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia. The program was established at a Brussels conference of transport and trade ministers on May 3, 1993. Representatives of eight CIS countries, including five Central Asian states (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) and three states of the Caucasus region (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia), took part in the conference. During the conference, an agreement on the implementation of a technical assistance program was signed; the program is funded by the European Union and aims to develop a transport corridor along the WestEast axis from Europe through the Black Sea, the Caucasus, and the Caspian Sea to Central Asia. Ukraine and Mongolia were admitted to the program in 1996; Moldova in 1999; Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey in 2002; and Iran in 2009. Today, twelve countries (not counting Mongolia and Turkmenistan, which joined earlier) and Iran (its participation has been limited since 2010 due to sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council and by the EU) take part in the program. The TRACECA program consists of specific projects, some of which have been completed. The projects cover different modes of transport, including aviation, automobile roads, railways, maritime transport, and pipelines. Since the first days of joining the program, Moldova has worked through the TRACECA national commission and national secretariat toward implementation of TRACECA projects planned for member nations. Among the most important elements of diplomatic support of economic projects within the framework of TRACECA, the following can be identified: a joint declaration on connection of the Black Sea Transport Network with the Trans-European Transport Network within the framework of EuroAsian transport links (Thessaloniki, January 2005); and statements on the prospects of cooperation in the transport sector adopted in Odessa (2008), Yerevan (2009), and Sofia (2010). Within the framework of the memorandum of understanding on facilitation of road transport of goods in the BSEC region (2002), a pilot project to issue permits for transit truck cargo haulage in the BSEC region became known. The TRACECA Program

Republic of Moldova


TRACECA member nations implement the 2015 strategy of the TRACECA Intergovernmental Commission for the development of the Europe-Caucasus-Asia international transport corridor, where the main emphasis is creation of a sound multimodal infrastructure chain and gradual integration of that corridor in the Trans-European Transport Network. Simultaneously, a new strategy of the TRACECA Intergovernmental Commission is being worked out for 2016–2026, within which certain emphasis will be dedicated to projects that concern Moldova. Technical aid provided within the framework of the TRACECA program has helped to attract investments of international financial organizations, including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and Islamic Development Bank. The total capex of the projects to develop ports, automobile roads, and railways along the TRACECA corridor exceeded €1.7 billion. Implementation of some investment projects affected Moldova. In particular, after completion of a feasibility study for improving the road and rail border crossings between Moldova and Ukraine (with a total budget of €1.7 million) in 2004, the European Commission instituted another investment project as a logical continuation of the TRACECA program, on upgrading the infrastructure and equipment of border-crossing points between Moldova and Ukraine (with a budget of €2 million). Like other TRACECA member nations, Moldova has developed a national investment plan and state transport funding programs. The country borrows more frequently from international funding sources to carry out top priority projects; it improves legislation to implement projects of public-private partnership and to ensure transparency of tenders. On the whole, within the framework of implementation of the 2015 strategy of the TRACECA Intergovernmental Commission for the development of the Europe-Caucasus-Asia international transport corridor, Moldova, aided by international financial institutions, has completed infrastructure projects worth $702 million. 1. The main indicators are specified without taking into account the Dniester’s left bank and the Bender municipality. 2. The following section was contributed by Yuri Ivanovich Krotenko. 3. The following section was contributed by Yuri Ivanovich Krotenko. 4. The following section was contributed by Yuri Ivanovich Krotenko. 5. The following section was contributed by Yuri Ivanovich Krotenko. 6. The following section was contributed by Yuri Ivanovich Krotenko. 7. The following section was contributed by Valentin Anastasyevich Beniuk. 8. The following section was contributed by Valentin Anastasyevich Beniuk. 9. The following section was contributed by Valentin Anastasyevich Beniuk.



Foreign Policies of the CIS States

10. The following section was contributed by Valentin Anastasyevich Beniuk. 11. The following section was contributed by Valentin Anastasyevich Beniuk. 12. The following section was contributed by Valentin Anastasyevich Beniuk. 13. The following section was contributed by Valentin Anastasyevich Beniuk. 14. The following section was contributed by Valentin Anastasyevich Beniuk. 15. The following section was contributed by Alexander Dmitrievich Burian. 16. The following section was contributed by Yuri Ivanovich Krotenko. Burian, A. D. “Diplomatic Service of the Republic of Moldova.” Moscow Journal of International Law 52, no. 4 (2003), pp. 140–158. ———. International Relations, Foreign Policy, and Diplomacy (A Course of Lectures). 3rd ed., rev. and enlarged. Chisinau: CEP USM, 2008. ———. “The Transnistrian Conflict and Prospects of Its Resolution: A View from Chisinau.” Moldovan Journal of International Law and International Relations, no. 3 (2011), pp. 101–123. Kindybalyuk, O. I. Energy Security in the Context of Contemporary Geopolitical Transformations. Chisinau: CEP USM, 2015. Krotenko, Yu. I. Moldova’s International Tourism and Problems of its Development. Chisinau: ULIM, 2008. Lysenko, V. V. “Development of Civil Society in Transnistria in the Context of the Settlement of the Moldovan-Transnistrian Conflict.” Eurasian Law Journal, no. 7 (2014), pp. 17–19. Selivanova, I. F. Foreign Policy of Moldavia. Foreign Policy of New Independent States: A Collection. Ed. B. A. Shmelev. Moscow: IE RAN, 2015. Tau, N. “The Role of Economic Diplomacy in International Economic Relations.” In Management in Social and Economic Systems: Proceedings of the XII International Scientific and Practicum Conference (December 5, 2004, Minsk). Minsk: MIU Publishing House, 2004. Teos, V., G. Vasilesku, and E. Ciobu. Diplomatic Service: Theory and Practice: A Textbook. Chisinau: Moldovan State University, 2010. Tischenko, G. G. “Military and Political Line and Armed Forces of the Republic of Moldova and of Transnistria.” In Moldavia: Modern Development Trends. Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2004, pp. 449–492.

Suggested Readings

8 Russian Federation

Foreign Policy Determinants1 After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation, as its successor, was left with four-fifths of Soviet territory. At the same time, Russia still remains the world’s biggest country, as it occupies 12.7 percent of the planet’s land surface (excluding Antarctica), and the larger part of eastern Europe and northern Asia. The total length of Russia’s borders is 62,269 kilometers, including 24,625 kilometers of land frontiers with fourteen nations. Out of them, Kazakhstan has the longest borderline with Russia (in the trans-Volga region, southern Urals, and Siberia’s south), followed by China. Russia’s land borders in the west, from the Baltic Sea shoreline to the Azov Sea, are not linked to any natural boundaries; they stretch across densely populated and well-cultivated plains, and in the Southern Caucasus they extend across the Caucasus mountain system, from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea. Russia has maritime borders with twelve nations. The Kaliningrad region is a semi-enclave territory of the Russian Federation, which is surrounded by With the United States and Japan, other countries and has access to the Russia has only maritime borders. sea. Russia’s territory lies in four Those run through narrow straits climate zones: subtropical, moderthat separate Big Diomede Island ate, subpolar, and polar. Russia’s from Little Diomede, and the geographic location makes the Southern Kuril Islands from the country a key geopolitical actor of island of Hokkaido. the global level. Territorial and Geographic Potential



Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Russia’s territory concentrates about one-fifth of the world’s mineral reserves; therefore it is ranked among well-resourced nations both globally and per capita. On average, that potential equals about 17 percent of global reserves, and for various kinds of commodities it ranges from 8.5 percent to 34.5 percent. Russia’s known mineral reserves are gas (24 percent of cumulative global resources), iron ore (18 percent), coal (15.6 percent), uranium (9.2 percent), and oil (6.1 percent). If taken per capita, they exceed the global average by nearly five times. These figures reflect Russia’s strong potential competitiveness in global commodity markets and the high investment potential of its subsoil. At the same time, development of a large part of natural resources is hindered by difficult operating conditions in fields located far in the north, long distances from mineral deposits to the final consumer, and the need to develop transportation infrastructure. In order to develop new fields and deposits in Russia’s near and far north (including those in Arctic offshore areas), large financial investments, advanced production technologies, and human resources are strongly required. Natural Resource Potential

The Russian Federation has a considerable military potential. In terms of global military spending, it is ranked third (after the United States and China), and its military expenditure accounts for about 4 percent of the budget. Once the 2011–2020 State Armament Program is completed, advanced weapons in the Russian army are expected to account for 70 percent of total armaments by 2020. The country’s armed forces consist of three branches (the army, the aerospace forces, and the navy) and two service arms (strategic missile forces and airborne forces). Russia is a major nuclear power that has both strategic and tactical nuclear weapons and delivery systems. The country’s nuclear forces include strategic and tactical nuclear assets. Russia’s strategic nuclear forces (the nuclear triad) are divided into land-based (strategic missile forces, including guided missile systems of intercontinental ballistic missiles), sea-based (naval strategic nuclear forces, including nuclear submarines), and airbased (air nuclear forces, including strategic bombers). Russia builds and develops its nuclear forces subject to its international commitments and dictates of nuclear deterrence at the minimally sufficient level of nuclear potential. In addition to nuclear weapons, the Russian Federation has sizable (in terms of personnel) and well-appointed conventional armed forces and a large number of tanks and armored vehicles, still exceeding capabilities of other nations. Military Potential

Russian Federation


Over the past twenty-five years, the number of service personnel on active duty has declined by four to five times, to 1 million people, which is fewer than in China (2.2 million), the United States (1.4 million), India (1.3 million), or North Korea (1.2 million). The number of military personnel serving under contract exceeded 350,000 in 2016. Russia’s armed forces are deployed across the country and abroad. Russia has closed many Soviet military bases abroad (in Eastern Europe, Vietnam, Cuba). It keeps a limited military presence in Abkhazia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Syria, Tajikistan, and South Ossetia. The foreign policy potential of the Russian Federation is determined to a large extent by the fact that Russia has declared itself to be continuing the legal personality of the Soviet Union, while the other post-Soviet states are successors of the Soviet Union and respective union republics. Russia has kept the status of one of the five permanent members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, where it has the veto power. The consent to Russia’s membership in the UN Security Council, in continuation of that of the Soviet Union, was included in the Agreement on the Establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States of December 21, 1991. On December 24, 1991, the president of the Russian Federation advised the UN secretary-general thereof. To address succession issues, the Council of Heads of States of the CIS set up a Commission for the Succession in Respect of Treaties of Mutual Interest, State Property, Debts, and Assets of the former Soviet Union in March 1992. Foreign Policy Potential

Pursuant to the 1991 Treaty on Legal Succession with Regard to the External State Debt and Assets, Soviet property abroad was first divided according to the following proportions: Armenia, 0.86 percent; Azerbaijan, 1.64 percent; Belarus, 4.13 percent; Estonia, 0.62 percent; Georgia, 1.62 percent; Kazakhstan, 3.86 percent; Kyrgyzstan, 0.95 percent; Latvia, 1.14 percent; Lithuania, 1.41 percent; Moldova, 1.29 percent; Tajikistan, 0.82 percent; Turkmenistan, 0.70 percent; Ukraine, 16.37 percent; Uzbekistan, 3.27 percent. From 1992 to 1994, the so-called zero option was applied, according to which the Russian Federation signed bilateral agreements with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine, under which Russia undertook to service the entire Soviet national debt ($96.8 billion) in exchange for their abandonment of a stake in former Soviet assets.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Having committed to the payment of multibillion debts, the Russian Federation received the title to the buildings of former Soviet diplomatic missions in many countries across the globe. The originally high level of foreign policy potential of the Russian Federation was also substantiated by the fact that a considerable part of the infrastructure of the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs and related entities was based in Moscow. Those were the central office with a few thousand highly qualified diplomats, and an established system of training diplomatic staff (Moscow State Institute of International Relations [MGIMO] and Diplomatic Academy), as well as a diversified network of institutes affiliated with the Academy of Sciences, which provide foreign policy and countryspecific expertise (Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Institute for US and Canadian Studies, Institute of Europe, Institute of Latin America, Institute of Africa, Institute of Oriental Studies, Institute of Far Eastern Studies). Conceptual Framework and Mechanisms of Foreign Policy Evolution of the Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation2

In the 1990s, Russia’s foreign policy was still evolving. It was based on the following key principles: (1) after the end of the Cold War, time had come for a peaceful and nonconfrontational development of international relations; (2) the Russian Federation, as the successor of the Soviet Union, had the right to count on an equitable partnership with the United States in global affairs; and (3) Russia needed to focus the limited resources it had left after the dissolution of the Soviet Union on addressing domestic issues and development of relations with member nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Doctrinal embodiment of those principles took place in April 1993, when the fundamental principles of the foreign policy concept of the Russian Federation were adopted. When the concept started to be implemented, it was affected both by the situation in Russia and by the evolving international environment. Democrats led by Boris Yeltsin intended to build democratic society and a well-developed modern market economy in Russia within a limited timeframe. In that context, Western nations were perceived as a natural ally. A point of view emerged according to which rich and well-developed Western countries were vitally important to Russia for its political, economic, and spiritual revival. On the contrary, alienation from the West, according to that viewpoint, would result in loss of the country’s unique chance for reform. That approach generated the idea of democratic solidarity, according to which all democratic nations have common interests—building a democratic world—and therefore should take into account each other’s respective interests.

Russian Federation


Andrei Kozyrev, the first foreign minister of the Russian Federation (1990–1996), was an active proponent of rapprochement with the West. Perceiving the West as a pillar for the implementation of democratic processes in Russia, the country’s new authorities expected from it assistance in pursuing economic reform. For Russian democrats, the West was emerging as an example to follow; they wanted to Westernize Russia, to lead Russian society into the Western “zone of prosperity,” and to bring the country back to the “civilized family of nations.” The country was seeing liberation from its Soviet foreign policy past. Moscow acknowledged “historical errors” and repented invasions of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Afghanistan; all ideological ties with communist regimes were severed, in anticipation of their forthcoming collapse. Russia’s relations with Soviet ideological partners in the third world chilled. However, as early as in 1993, it became clear that the country needed a change in its foreign policy. Understanding came that Western nations, despite their optimistic rhetoric, were not actually interested in seeing a strong Russia. Expansion plans of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) were regarded by official Moscow as an obvious betrayal of the idea of “Europe without borders.” Those plans were viewed as a symbol of distrust and animosity toward Russia—as an attempt to draw new dividing lines in Europe and to drop a new iron curtain. The Russian leaders also thought NATO’s unilateral actions in the Balkans to be further evidence of unfriendly policies. Russian society had its first doubts about adaptability of the Western experience to Russian realities. Yevgeny Primakov’s Doctrine3

Forces that advocated the necessity of a well-balanced foreign policy were gradually starting to stand out in the Russian political establishment. Yevgeny Primakov, who became foreign minister in 1996, had the most clear-cut and consistent position; he was upholding a diversified foreign policy that would be active in all vectors. In opposition to Kozyrev’s Atlantic foreign policy concept, Primakov declared his own doctrine. Yevgeny Primakov’s doctrine was based on the following principles: (1) priority given to Russian interests, and abandonment of the “junior partner” role in relations with the United States and the West as a whole, without aggravating the relationship; (2) establishing a multipolar world, pursuing a multivector foreign policy, and adhering to an alternative line to the US position in some important international matters; (3) Russia’s continued integration into a globalizing world; and (4) abandonment of the idea to turn the CIS into a full-fledged international association and implementation of the idea of developing the CIS “at different speeds.” In the West, Primakov was called an anti-Western politician. In reality, he was a convinced proponent of a strong state and national interests.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

However, he did not denounce the eagerness of cooperating with the United States and the European Union (EU), but rather opposed a policy of extreme concessions carried out with respect to the West, to the detriment of national interests. The key impediment to full-scale implementation of the Primakov Doctrine was the lack of consistency between the declared goals and the country’s extremely difficult situation. Russia was unable that time to oppose completely the policies of Western nations. Any attempt to scale back contacts with them amid the country’s growing dependence on loans from international financial institutions controlled by the West would lead to adverse consequences. Russia’s Foreign Policy Between 2000 and 20084

On December 31, 1999, President Boris Yeltsin resigned prematurely, having appointed then–prime minister Vladimir Putin as acting head of state. In March 2000, Putin won his first presidential election and articulated Russia’s new foreign policy concept, which took into account utopic expectations of previous years on the one hand, and the danger of unleashing confrontation with the West on the other. Putin’s foreign policy concept was based on the following principles: pragmatism, national interests, multivector nature, and economic efficiency. Pragmatism meant abandonment of ideological criteria and wishful thinking; in addition, it meant taking into account opportunities as well, not only interests. On the one hand, national interests needed to be protected, and on the other this required avoiding confrontation while asserting national interests in view of the limited resources that Russia had domestically and externally. A multivector nature of foreign policy meant building constructive relations with all nations of interest to Russia, and addressing important issues in each particular case. Economic efficiency involved improvement of Russia’s competitive edge, a manifold increase of gross domestic product (GDP), and integration into the global economic system. The foreign policy concept articulated by Vladimir Putin in the early 2000s has evolved over many years; has been adapted multiple times to address new challenges, threats, and the ever-changing international environment; and has taken into consideration the complicated internal situation. Russia’s foreign policy concept as approved by the president in June 2000 remained the principal foreign policy document across Vladimir Putin’s first two terms in office. The concept upheld the idea of a multipolar world and encouraged a stronger role of the UN in handling global issues. At the same time, it focused on pragmatism and independence in global affairs.

Russian Federation


In 2006, Russian political circles started discussing the country’s future foreign policy concept based on the 2000 concept, which was to be amended step by step. The point of departure for the amending the concept was Putin’s working meeting with Russian ambassadors and permanent envoys at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in June 2006. The president stated that “Russia must take responsibility for global and social-economic development according to its status and potential.”5 In other words, Russia, as a large country, needed a more proactive attitude in the global arena. Substantially, the new foreign policy approaches of the country’s leaders looked like Russia was trying to avoid confrontation with other countries and to keep its freedom of action. Regarding global affairs, the principle of diversity and pluralism was preferred—not a focus on some preset schematics or standards but rather a search for the most effective ways of advancing Russian interests worldwide. This concerns not only methods of foreign policy but also Russia’s geography. In the early twenty-first One important step of Russia’s new positioning was Vladimir century, terrorism, the approach of Putin’s Munich speech of FebruNATO’s infrastructure to Russian ary 2007, in which the Russian borders, proliferation of weapons of president unequivocally disapmass destruction, and the like, were proved attempts of creating a listed as key security threats to Rusunipolar world under US auspices. sia. The Foreign Policy Line from 2008 to 20126

In May 2008, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs drafted the country’s next foreign policy concept, which was approved by then-president Dmitry Medvedev on July 12, 2008. The purpose of Russia’s foreign policy was defined as creating a favorable external political environment for the country’s internal modernization. A model of foreign policy behavior was outlined that would allow Russia “to make an impact on the construction of a new architecture of international relations.” Relations with CIS countries, first and foremost with Belarus and member nations of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), remained an important regional priority of the country’s foreign policy. With NATO member nations, Russia intended to build equitable relations that would be dependent on the alliance’s willingness “for an equitable partnership, rigorous respect of principles and rules of international law, of compliance by all its members with the commitment assumed within the framework of the NATO-Russia Council not to ensure their security at the expense of Russia’s security, and also of the obligations regarding military restraint.”


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

After the August 8, 2008, war in Southern Caucasus, Dmitry Medvedev declared basic principles of the country’s foreign policy. First, Russia recognized the supremacy of the fundamental principles of international law, which define relations between civilized nations. Second, the world must be multipolar. Russia cannot agree to a world order in which all decisions are made by one country, even by a country like the United States. Third, Russia does not want confrontation with any nation. Fourth, protecting the life and dignity of Russian citizens, wherever they are, is a priority mission. Fifth, interests of Russia in the regions friendly to it are relevant.7 A few months later, Russia’s foreign policy line was somewhat adjusted. Dmitry Medvedev’s foreign policy priorities became devoted to the main line of his policy—modernization of the state. Russia’s leaders started to increasingly view foreign policy as a resource that could contribute to modernization efforts inside the country. In that sense, the United States, Germany, and France, with their technology potential, occupied top spots among Russia’s foreign policy priorities. Russia’s modernization efforts in foreign policy were aimed at ensuring the most favorable conditions for the country’s internal development, and, foremost, of political, socioeconomic, scientific, and technological modernization of society with the purpose of taking a worthy place in the new emerging world order. Foreign Policy Priorities Between 2012 and 20168

In 2012, President Vladimir Putin signed eleven so-called May decrees, which contained instructions to be carried out from 2012 to 2020. According to the decree on implementation measures of foreign policy, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was instructed to prepare an updated foreign policy concept, which was adopted in 2013. According to Russia’s 2013 foreign policy concept, the main foreign policy efforts were to be focused on the following: (1) the country’s security and preservation, and reinforcement of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, with strong and influential positions in the international community; (2) creating a favorable external environment for the country’s stable and dynamic growth; (3) all-around strengthening of international peace, global security, and stability; (4) building good-neighborly relations with adjacent countries; (5) promotion of bilateral and multilateral relations, with mutually beneficial and equitable cooperation; (6) reinforcement of Russia’s trade and economic positions in the system of global economic ties; (7) all-around protection of rights and lawful interests of Russian citizens and compatriots living abroad; and (8) contribution to the promotion of a constructive dialogue and partnership between civilizations.

Russian Federation


The coup d’état in Ukraine, which degenerated into a civil war that was accompanied by a geopolitical decomposition of that country, the return of the Crimea and Sevastopol to their “natural haven,” a crisis of the security system in Europe, confrontation with the United States and EU, and a campaign of sanctions organized by the West against Russia, justified preparation of a new foreign policy program, one that could be called the Putin Doctrine. Its key principles were voiced in the historic Crimean speech delivered in the Kremlin’s George Hall on March 18, 2014, and in Vladimir Putin’s Valdai speech in 2014. Vladimir Putin’s 2014 foreign policy doctrine includes the following points: (1) Russia no longer regarded the West as a trustworthy partner. By involving Ukraine in NATO and the EU, the West had “crossed the line”; (2) Russia no longer regarded itself as part of the Euro-Atlantic civilization—it was building its new Eurasian identity; (3) the scope of the doctrine was to cover the post-Soviet space first and foremost; and (4) the doctrine was to be based on the fundamentally new balance of power in the world. Regarding the latter, the cumulative potential of Western nations was declining, and simultaneously the weight and influence of Asian, African, and Latin American countries were growing. Large non-Western nations, united in new formal and informal institutions (the BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa], Shanghai Cooperation Organization [SCO], etc.) were interested in establishing new rules of the game. In November 2016, a new version of Russia’s foreign policy concept was promulgated, the fifth in Russia’s modern history. The key foreign policy objectives largely remained identical to those of the 2013 concept, but a number of new priorities emerged, including reinforcement of Russia’s status as an influential center of today’s world, and strengthening positions of Russian media in the global information space. The Foreign Policy Process9

The Russian Federation is a federal nation. According to Article 71 of the constitution, the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation includes foreign policy and international relations, international treaties, issues of war and peace, and foreign economic relations of the Russian Federation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs exists only at the federal level. Constituent territories (subjects) of the federation have only executive bodies that promote international relations (not foreign policy) and external economic relations of those territories.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

According to Article 72 of the constitution, foreign economic relations are within the purview of joint jurisdiction of the Russian Federation and its subjects, and they are coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. In 2003, the Council of Heads of Constituent Territories of the Russian Federation was set up at the ministry for assisting Russian regions in developing international and external economic ties. According to Article 80 of the constitution, the president determines the guidelines of the internal and foreign policies of the state and represents the Russian Federation within the country and in international relations. The president, after consultations with corresponding committees and commissions of the chambers of the Federal Assembly, appoints and recalls diplomatic representatives of the Russian Federation in foreign states and international organizations; governs the foreign policy of the Russian Federation; holds negotiations and signs international treaties and agreements of the Russian Federation; signs ratification instruments; and receives credentials and letters of recall of diplomatic representatives accredited to him. The president addresses the Federal Assembly with annual messages on the guidelines of the foreign policy of the state, and approves the foreign policy concept. The presidential administration has a few divisions that handle foreign policy issues: the President’s Foreign Policy Directorate, the President’s Directorate for Inter-Regional and Cultural Ties with Foreign Countries, and the President’s Border Cooperation Directorate (before September 2018 was the Directorate for Social and Economic Cooperation with CIS Member Nations, Abkhazia, and North Ossetia).

The Security Council of the Russian Federation plays an important role in the foreign policy process. According to the constitution, the president of the Russian Federation forms and heads that council. The functions of the Security Council include issues of Russia’s military and technical cooperation with foreign nations, and issues of international cooperation in security. In December 2015, a new national security strategy of the Russian Federation was approved, replacing the 2009–2020 strategy and the 1997 and 2000 national security concepts. In the structure of federal executive bodies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation is a ministry supervised by the president of the Russian Federation. Under the ministry’s auspices, the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) carries out its activities. Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs develops the general foreign policy strategy of the Russian Federation, coordinates foreign policy activities of

Russian Federation


federal executive bodies in accordance with decree of the president of November 8, 2011, on the coordinating role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in implementing a common foreign policy of the Russian Federation. Over the past few years, a number of doctrinal documents have laid the long-term foundation for Russia’s national security, including in the international field. Among them are the Concept of Cross-Border Cooperation in the Russian Federation (2001); Guidelines of State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic Through 2020 and for a Longer Term (2008); Russia’s Energy Strategy Through 2030 (2009); Climate Doctrine of the Russian Federation (2009); Doctrine of Food Security of the Russian Federation (2010); Guidelines of State Policy in Nuclear and Radiation Security of the Russian Federation Through 2025 (2012); Concept of State Migration Policy of the Russian Federation Through 2025 (2012); Guidelines of State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Area of International Information Security Through 2020 (2013); and Doctrine of Information Security of the Russian Federation (2016).

The ministry includes the central office, diplomatic missions abroad, and missions of the Russian Federation accredited at international organizations. The key objectives pursued by Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the implementation of foreign policy include development of a common concept and strategy of the national foreign policy program; carrying out a foreign policy line; and coordination of activities and supervision of the work of federal executive bodies to ensure a uniform foreign policy line of the state. The ministry is led by the minister, deputy ministers, and a collegium. The government of the Russian Federation prepares proposals for the president of the Russian Federation, and takes part in carrying out the state’s foreign policy in compliance with the foreign policy concept of the Russian Federation and the country’s laws. When drafting foreign policy decisions, the executive branch interacts on a permanent basis with chambers of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, political parties, the expert community, and nongovernmental organizations. The Federation Council and the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation carry out activities, within the framework of their respective powers, to provide legislative support to the state’s foreign policy and to promote parliamentary diplomacy. The Federation Council is the upper chamber of the Federal Assembly. Its functions include approval of laws, international treaties, and agreements passed by the State Duma of the Russian Federation; and approval of the budget allocated for international activities. To improve effectiveness of foreign policy activities, foreign policy expertise is required. To the traditional academic centers that were


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

established and included in the structure of the Russian Academy of Sciences as far back as in Soviet times, a few other institutions, think tanks, and expert networks have been added in recent years. Among them are the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, Russian APEC Study Center, National Committee for BRICS Research, Russian International Affairs Council, Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, and Valdai International Discussion Club. Foreign Policy Priorities Russia’s Relations with CIS Countries10

The CIS is a priority region for Russia’s foreign policy. The foreign policy concept of the Russian Federation of November 30, 2016, points out that “priority areas of Russian foreign policy include the development of bilateral and multilateral cooperation with the CIS Member States, [for] further strengthening of the CIS as a basis for enhancing regional interaction among its participants who not only share common historical background but also have great capacity for integration in various spheres.”11 For about fifteen years after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia’s cooperation with CIS countries had been weakening, and integration initiatives failed to be translated into practice. The situation started to change in the mid-2000s. From 2009 to 2013, integration processes in the CIS were given a new impetus. An important role in stepping up regional cooperation across the CIS was played by the transition to a new CIS development model—“at different speeds”—and building an “integration nucleus” of countries willing to move to a higher level of cooperation. The Union State of the Republic of Belarus and of the Russian Federation was set up, and the Eurasian Economic Union was launched as a project. In the 1990s, Russia was making efforts to preserve the CIS space; however, the ongoing economic crisis in the country hampered implementation of integration initiatives. Moreover, a more active Russian policy in the post-Soviet space met with visceral resentment on the part of the West, led by the United States, which started to oppose those endeavors and strengthen its own presence in the post-Soviet space.12 In the 2000s, Russia, despite considerable changes in the political elite, was largely continuing the line with respect to the post-Soviet space pursued at the previous stage. Amid a fast economic recovery, the Russian economy was to a large extent the driver for other CIS economies, as a result of which the idea of integration with Russia was becoming more and more attractive. A series of “color-coded” revolutions in CIS countries began, starting with the 2003 Rose Revolution in Georgia.

Russian Federation


A “color-coded” revolution consists of civil unrest and public protests in a country, backed by foreign nongovernmental organizations and aimed at a nonviolent change of a political regime. Such revolutions in the postSoviet space include the 2003 Rose Revolution in Georgia, the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine, the 2005 Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan, and the 2013–2014 Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine.

In the 2010s, a few projects, first of all those of the Customs Union and the Single Economic Space, started to be implemented. In that same period, pro-Western politicians who had come to power as a result of color-coded revolutions left the political stage—Viktor Yushchenko (Ukraine) in 2010 and Mikheil Saakashvili (Georgia) in 2012. However, the geopolitical orientation of those countries did not change in any major way, notwithstanding a certain thaw in Russian-Ukrainian relations between 2010 and 2012. The confrontation between Russia and the West, led by the United States, somewhat declined after Barack Obama came to power in the United States in 2009 and started a “reset” of relations with Russia. While the White House no longer regarded the post-Soviet space as its foreign policy priority, the geopolitical competition in the region continued, albeit in less tough forms (until late 2013). The European Union started to declare its interests in the CIS more and more actively at that stage, and in 2009 it began carrying out the Eastern Partnership program. The Eastern Partnership is an EU political initiative proposed and launched at the Prague summit in May 2009. The initiative focused on deepening and strengthening relations between the European Union and its six eastern neighbors: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. The project represented the Eastern dimension of the European policy toward neighbors and was to promote bilateral relations between the EU and its partners. In Russia, the project was regarded as an anti-Russian geopolitical concept.

On November 21, 2013, a public protest rally began in Kyiv. As time went by, it transformed into an armed standoff accompanied by takeovers of administrative buildings, which ultimately led to a coup d’état on February 21, 2014. For the Russian Federation, the Ukrainian crisis brought about acute confrontation and antagonism with the West, led by the United States. The Russian side labeled the events in Ukraine as “orchestrated from the outside,” and believed the external backing was the decisive factor of the forces that were in opposition to Viktor Yanukovych.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Key Areas of Cooperation Between Russia and the EU13

The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement signed in June 1994, which took effect on December 1, 1997,14 has been the fundamental element of the legal framework of the relations between Russia and the European Union for about two decades now. The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement embodies the institutional foundation of the political dialogue between Russia and the EU, which provides for regular summits (twice a year) and meetings of a standing Cooperation Council at the ministerial level, and for meetings of the Russian minister of foreign affairs with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. In 2005, at the Russia-EU summit in London, an essential political arrangement was reached: to draft and conclude a new fundamental agreement to replace the current document. Talks on that issue were started in July 2008, and twelve rounds of negotiations have been held since. Both parties proceeded from the assumption that signing a new agreement would build a more solid foundation for Russia-EU relations. In 2014, as a result of deep differences regarding the Ukrainian matter, the talks were frozen on the EU’s initiative. The European Union is Russia’s leading trade partner. EU member nations account for about half of Russian imports and exports. In turn, the Russian Federation is the EU’s third most important trade partner. Energy is one of priorities of the bilateral trade and economic cooperation. Russia is the principal supplier of natural gas and oil to European Union nations; those resources are transmitted via third-party territories, which has resulted multiple times in gas wars with Ukraine (2005–2006, 2008–2009) and Belarus (2010). To reduce dependence on transit countries of energy resources, two lines of the Nord Stream gas pipeline were built from Russia to Germany in 2011. Currently, construction of the Nord Stream 2 (two more lines) and TurkStream gas pipelines (from Russia to Turkey) is under way. The latter of the two will also be used to transmit gas to Europe’s southern regions. As part of its efforts to liberalize the electric power and gas market, the EU adopted the Third Energy Package in 2009, which provides for unbundling of energy production and sale, separating them from energy transmission and distribution (the “Gazprom clause”). This hampers Gazprom’s investment activities in Europe, blocking access to the end consumer. At the same time, the Opal gas pipeline (the land-based extension of the Nord Stream) was excluded from the jurisdiction of the rules of the Third Energy Package until 2033, according to a decision of the European Commission.

Challenged oil exports to EU countries via Baltic ports caused implementation of the project of the Baltic Pipeline System.

Russian Federation


The Baltic Pipeline System is a system of trunk oil pipelines that connects Russian oil fields with Russian ports in the Baltic Sea. BPS-1 (to the port of Primorsk) was launched in 2001, and was expanded multiple times afterward; by 2006, it had reached its design capacity of 74 million tons a year. BTS-2 (to the Ust-Luga port) started operations in 2012. The capacity of the first startup facilities equals 30 million tons a year, and the capacity of the second phase is to be 50 million tons.

Russia-EU cooperation in combating international terrorism and crossborder crime is developing with success on the basis of the cooperation agreement between the Russian Federation and the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) signed in Rome on November 6, 2003. That document is supplemented by two roadmaps: one creates a common space of external security between Russia and the European Union, and the other promotes a common space of freedom, security, and justice between the parties. Collaboration between the Russian Federation and the EU in disarmament, strengthening of export control regimes, and nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction is based on that roadmap on the common space of external security. In addition to the joint statement from the October 2001 Russia-EU summit that took place in Brussels and the joint statement on the fight against terrorism of November 11, 2002, which helped identify and articulate priority areas of cooperation between Russia and the EU in combating terrorism, the parties adopted an updated joint statement on combating terrorism in January 2014. The Russian Federation’s cooperation with EU member nations became increasingly more active after the terrorist acts that occurred in Paris on November 13, 2015, and with the beginning of Russia’s air force operation in Syria, which was started on September 30, 2015. It is aimed against terrorist groups, including the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which is banned in Russia. The parties pursue an active dialogue and coordinate their efforts in a fight against drug trafficking. In 2007, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction and the Russian Federal Drugs Control Service in Mafra, Portugal, on the basis of which the two agencies collaborate with success. In addition, a cooperation agreement on the control of drug precursors was signed in 2013 at the EU-Russia summit in Yekaterinburg; that agreement plays a vital part in improving the general effectiveness of anti-drugtrafficking measures at the international level. Another essential area of Russia-EU collaboration is the fight against illegal migration. Its importance largely stems from the fact that the needs of development of the parties’ trade and economic relations and continued


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

changes in the global labor market require effective coordination in the control of the ever-increasing migration flows. In that context, the readmission agreement regarding third-country nationals and stateless persons, signed between Russia and the EU in 2006, was a significant step in the improvement of the joint policies in combating illegal migration. The agreement took effect in early June 2007, and from 2010 the procedure also applies to stateless persons and third-country nationals. Establishment of a visa-free regime between the Russian Federation and EU member nations is also directly linked to resolution of the issue of illegal migration. Since the mid-1990s, the progressive development of the relations between Russia and EU member nations has seen a dynamic growth in the total number of reciprocal travels of citizens, as a result of which visa matters have started to become increasingly more relevant in the general structure of the bilateral relations. As a result of time-consuming work on that issue, Russia and the EU signed a visa facilitation agreement in 2006. The new, simplified rules specified in that document cover athletes, students, members of the academia, businesspeople, and close relatives of persons who legally reside in Russia and in EU member nations. Russia-EU cooperation in the military sector is regulated by a roadmap on the common space of external security. Building a constructive and mutually beneficial bilateral dialogue in security and anticrisis regulation was first raised as an issue in October 2000 at the Russian-EU summit in Paris. After a long discussion, a joint declaration on strengthening dialogue and cooperation on political and security matters in Europe was adopted. Russia and the European Union advance cooperation in education, which resulted in the opening of the European Studies Institute at MGIMO in September 2006. Russian university students take part in “Erasmus+,” a European student exchange program. In October 2007, the first meeting of the Russia-EU Permanent Partnership Council on Culture was held in Lisbon, and a series of measures were adopted to promote intercultural dialogue on all levels, including the level of religion. A large number of joint projects have been completed in theater (Mir-Caravane festival), music (“Europe Through the Eyes of Russians, Russia Through the Eyes of Europeans”), cinema (27+One festival), and architecture (Mosconstruct project). Scientific collaboration between Russia and the EU is implemented on the basis of the Agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology, signed by the government of the Russian Federation and the European Community on November 16, 2000, and the Russia-EU Roadmap on the Common Space in Research and Education, adopted on May 10, 2005.

Russian Federation

Russia-US Relations15


Relations with the United States are a key component of today’s foreign policy of the Russian Federation. Their special characteristic in the postbipolar period is their cyclic nature: mutual trust and partnership give way to distrust and animosity and vice versa. Relations between Moscow and Washington were established and started to evolve over the period from 1992 to 1999. On February 1, 1992, Russian president Boris Yeltsin visited the United States for the first time, where he had talks with his US counterpart, George H. W. Bush. They signed the Camp David Declaration, in which the parties declared they no longer “regard each other as potential adversaries.” The document became an official statement declaring the end of the Cold War. Russia started to perceive the United States as a center of gravity and an equal partner. In June 1992, during Boris Yeltsin’s second visit to Washington, D.C., the Charter for American-Russian Partnership and Friendship was signed, which signaled a new stage in the relations between the two countries, and in April 1993 establishment of strategic partnership was declared, after the signing of the Vancouver Declaration. Another key component of the bilateral cooperation were issues related to nuclear weapons. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, it turned out that the Soviet arsenal of strategic weapons was stationed in four countries: the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. The United States was worried that elements of weapons of mass destruction would find their way to wrong hands, so on May 23, 1992, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine signed, through Washington’s mediation, the Lisbon Protocol to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I). Under that document, the nuclear weapons deployed in those countries were to be moved to Russian soil and destroyed. On June 17, 1992, the parties signed the Joint Russian-American Declaration on Defense Conversion, which was aimed at reciprocal scaling back of the ratio of the military and industrial complex in their respective economies. On February 18, 1993, the United States and Russia entered into the Agreement Concerning the Disposition of Highly Enriched Uranium Extracted from Nuclear Weapons. Pursuant to the accord, Moscow undertook to supply the United States with uranium obtained as a result of the implementation of START I, for commercial prices. Negotiations continued within the framework of strategic arms cuts. They resulted in the signing on January 3, 1993, of a new treaty, START II, which provided for the reduction of the nuclear triad forces of both parties to 3,500 warheads. Economy was also an important area of bilateral cooperation. In 1994, the presidents of Russia and the United States issued a joint statement, “Partnership for Economic Progress,” that specified basic foundations of economic and investment interaction of the two nations, and the United


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

States expressed willingness to assist in the establishment of a market economy in Russia. From 1992 to 1995, the inflow of direct US investments amounted to $1.2 billion. Notwithstanding an actively developing bilateral partnership, by 1996 the parties started to become increasingly disappointed in one another. The key matter that exacerbated their relations was NATO’s eastward expansion and growing divergences on some other international matters. As far back as in the late 1980s, during talks with Mikhail Gorbachev, head of the Soviet Union, Western leaders promised not to expand NATO into the former Soviet zone of influence. However, after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact in 1989, a program called Partnership for Peace (within NATO’s framework) was launched as early as 1993; the program was aimed at involving former member nations of the Warsaw Pact and former Soviet republics into cooperation with the North Atlantic alliance.

In May 1997, the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation, and Security was signed between Russia and NATO, and the Permanent Joint Council was set up; during the Helsinki summit, the Russian and US presidents signed the Joint Statement on European Security, in which the Russian party expressed its concern about the approach of NATO forces to its borders. The disagreements had been growing, and reached their peak in 1999. At NATO’s Washington, D.C., summit, a decision was made to admit Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary as new members of the alliance. In addition, the Washington Declaration of the GUUAM nations (Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Moldova) was signed, in which they stated their intention to integrate into European and Euro-Atlantic organizations. From March to June, NATO forces organized Operation Allied Force, during which they conducted a series of bombings against Yugoslavia, thus making sure Kosovo would be separated from that country. Those actions met with harsh criticism on Russia’s part, and cooperation with NATO was suspended. From 2000 to 2008, new attempts to reestablish relations of partnership and trust between the two countries were made. In June 2001, George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin met for the first time, in Ljubljana, and the parties expressed their willingness to resume cooperation. During a new summit of the two presidents in Crawford on November 12, 2001, Russia agreed to the US withdrawal from the Anti–Ballistic Missile Treaty and to the deployment of its own national anti–ballistic missile system by the United States. In exchange, the United States signed the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT) on May 24, 2002, which provided for the limitation of each country’s nuclear forces to 2,200 operationally deployed warheads.

Russian Federation


Simultaneously, the parties signed the Moscow Declaration on the New Strategic Relationship in Counterterrorism. Furthermore, the United States undertook to get in touch with Russia on matters related to the deployment of anti–ballistic missile systems beyond its borders, and the Russian Federation closed down its military bases in Kamran (Vietnam) and Lourdes (Cuba). Following stabilization and improvement of the general background of US-Russian relations, similar processes were unfolding along the EuroAtlantic vector. In 2002, a declaration titled “NATO-Russia Relations: A New Quality” was signed, and the NATO-Russia Council was established. The tragic events of September 11, 2001, had a significant impact on the rapprochement of the parties at that stage. Russia was becoming an active partner to the United States in the antiterrorism coalition, and it was Moscow that was assisting Washington in the deployment of US forces in Central Asia and helping the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. However, just like in the 1990s, the United States misinterpreted the partner’s reciprocal steps as weakness, and regarded them as Russia recognizing the West’s power. The turning point came in 2007, when plans were unveiled to deploy a third site of the US national anti–ballistic missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic. On February 10, 2007, Vladimir Putin addressed a security conference in Munich, criticizing the policies and unipolar approach of the United States, and stated as a fact that the NATO forces were approaching Russian borders. Just like in the 1990s, Russia, in retaliation to US actions, started to upgrade its strategic nuclear forces and suspended implementation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. The controversy reached its peak in 2008, when new authorities in Georgia, led by Mikheil Saakashvili, in a bid to restore Tbilisi’s control in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, invaded the latter’s territory on August 8. As a result of a short confrontation, Georgia had to pull out its troops from the territory of South Ossetia, and Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Speaking at the World Policy Conference in Evian, President Dmitry Medvedev called for drafting and executing a new agreement on security in Europe that would be able to replace the existing framework established as far back as 1975. The proposal, however, was rejected. As a result, in 2008, US-Russian relations, having seen a stage of active partnership and cooperation, entered a phase of crisis and distrust. Since 2009, Washington has tried to bring relations with Moscow back to normal and to build a stable relationship with it, and not the other way around. The accession of Democrats led by Barack Obama to power adjusted the Russian vector of US foreign policy in a major way. Its foundation was based on the idea of Thomas Graham, a political scientist who


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

was special assistant to George W. Bush and senior director for Russia on the National Security Council staff—building relations with the Russian Federation not on the basis of “commonality of interests” but “commonality of threats,” and taking into account the differences in and the impossibility of reconciling political values of Russia and the United States. Obama’s administration de facto suggested to Moscow that relations should be wholly restarted. The new stage in US-Russian relations began with the Geneva meeting of Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and US secretary of state Hillary Clinton in March 2009, when Clinton presented her Russian counterpart with a “Reset” button and suggested that they push it together. Symbolically, the Russian translation on the button was misspelled and actually meant “Overload” instead of “Reset.”

In that period, the United States and Russia found many points of contact and pursued largely similar policies in addressing key international issues, in particular Iran’s nuclear program, cooperation in Afghanistan, signing a new START III, and the fight against international terrorism, piracy in the Gulf of Aden, and drug trafficking. In July 2009, Washington and Moscow signed an agreement allowing the transit of NATO military personnel and weapons to Afghanistan. Presumably in response, the United States decided to give up deployment of national missile defense facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic, and, alternatively, to reinforce anti–ballistic missile forces of the US Navy deployed in the Mediterranean. On April 8, 2010, a year after START I expired, a new treaty was signed, the New START. A new period of stable and even warmer relations between Russia and the United States did not last long. The first international issue that According to the New START, the number of US and Russian aggravated the bilateral relations strategic nuclear missile launchwere the events in Libya, when the ers was to be reduced by 30 perWestern coalition started to interfere cent, and both parties undertook openly in the situation, siding with to cut the number of deployed the insurgents. A second issue was warheads to 1,550, and the numthe missile defense system. Accordber of strategic launchers to 800, ing to the New START, the talks on within the following seven years. the reduction of strategic offensive arms were linked to those on the missile defense system. By 2010, Moscow had prepared a draft protocol concerning deployment and cooperation in the area of anti–ballistic missile defense, but it was never signed. A third contentious issue was the civil war in Syria.

Russian Federation


In 2012, the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act was passed. Simultaneously with the repeal of the Jackson-Vanik amendment to the Trade Act of 1974, the bill imposed sanctions on individuals who were thought to be responsible for violations of human rights and the rule of law. In retaliation, Russia adopted the law On Sanctions for Individuals Violating Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms of the Citizens of the Russian Federation, which is better known as the Dima Yakovlev Law; it bans citizens of the United States from adopting children from Russia. Probably the worst period in US-Russian relations occurred in 2014, after the Ukraine crisis, when the United States initiated sanctions (imposed on individuals and on sectors of industry). Over a relatively short period of time, US-Russian relations underwent a complicated evolution, from the parties’ willingness to cooperate to mutual disappointment to gradual distancing of the sides from one another. Russian-Chinese Relations16

On December 27, 1991, China declared its recognition of the Russian Federation as successor of the Soviet Union, which marked the beginning of a new stage in the history of Russia-China bilateral relations. In 1992, Russian president Boris Yeltsin visited China. On the back of the visit, a number of important bilateral documents were signed, including the Joint Statement on the Basis of Mutual Relations between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation, which proclaimed the parties’ adherence to the settlement of all matters exclusively by peaceful ways. The return visit to Moscow of Jiang Zemin, president of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), took place only two years later, in September 1994. After that, mutual visits at the highest level became more frequent. In 1996, within the framework of a visit of Russian president Boris Yeltsin to Beijing, the parties signed the Russian-Chinese Joint Declaration, wherein the word “strategic” was used for the first time as applied to their mutual relations, and the parties declared their resolve “to develop a strategic partnership of equality, mutual confidence, and mutual coordination for the twenty-first century.” It was during this time that the idea of keeping up a multipolar world first appeared in Russian and Chinese official statements; Russia de facto became the first nation to uphold China’s concept of building a new world order. The notion of multipolarity would remain a keynote of RussianChinese relations for many years to come. Russia’s key conceptual foreign policy documents began to attach an increasingly bigger importance to the Chinese vector. In the 2000 foreign policy concept of the Russian Federation, cooperation with China was


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

labeled as “one of the crucial directions in Russian foreign policy in Asia,” and the “concurrence of the fundamental approaches of Russia and the PRC to the key issues of world politics” was identified as “one of the basic mainstays of regional and global stability.” In July 2000, Russian president Vladimir Putin said in an interview for Chinese media: “We know that Russia is both a European and an Asian country. We respect both European pragmatism and Oriental wisdom. So, Russia will pursue a balanced foreign policy. In that sense the relations with the People’s Republic of China will certainly be one of our main priorities.”17 The Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation between China and the Russian Federation, signed in Moscow on July 16, 2001, by Russian president Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart, Jiang Zemin, was a landmark of historical significance in the relationship between the two countries. The document laid the legal foundation for Russian-Chinese interaction and still remains the cornerstone of the two countries’ bilateral relations. Starting from 2001, the parties began planning joint activities by adopting three-year action plans. The updated 2008 foreign policy concept of the Russian Federation again emphasized the special role of the Asian vector of Russia’s foreign policy, and China and Russia’s “common fundamental approaches to key issues of world politics.” In addition, the concept identified a new level of interaction—multipartite organizations, such as the Troika or the RIC countries (Russia, India, China), and the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China). The year 2010 was marked by the signing of a bilateral agreement on oil supplies to China via the Skovorodino-Daqing oil pipeline and of a document called “The Detailed Heads of Agreement on Gas Supplies from Russia to China.” A year later, the leaders of the two countries took part in the ceremony for the completion of the pipeline construction, and Russian oil supplies via that pipeline began in 2011. From 2003 to 2012, meetings between the leaders of the two countries became more frequent (more than forty), and they occurred not only within the framework of mutual visits but also on the sidelines of summits of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Group of 20 (G20), the BRICS, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and the like, which warranted describing cooperation between Russia and China as “close.” Later, five to six top-level meetings took place every year, and in 2015, Chinese president Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, met five times. Political interaction of the two parties is not limited to the highest level alone. Since 1996, the mechanism of regular meetings of heads of government has been in operation. Furthermore, Russian-Chinese intergovernmental commissions have been established on humanitarian, energy, and invest-

Russian Federation


ment cooperation, and a system of consultations on strategic security issues is in place. The 2013 foreign policy concept of the Russian Federation spelled out in detail the strategy of development of relations with China and, among other things, stressed the high level of “comprehensive, equal, and trustful partnership and strategic collaboration.” The two countries continue to reinforce mutual trust in military cooperation. In particular, in 2014, a series of joint military exercises took place: Joint Sea 2014, Peace Mission 2014, and so forth. Most of the drills occur every year. In May 2014, Russia and China signed a record number of documents on cooperation. A thirty-year contract on gas supplies to China was signed on May 21, 2014, between Russia’s gas giant Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). The accord provides for up to 38 billion cubic meters of gas supplies for a total price of $400 billion. In September 2014, the construction of a new gas pipeline, Power of Siberia (Eastern Route), began; it is set to cost about 770 billion rubles, and its length is estimated to be about 4,000 kilometers. The project of another gas pipeline, Power of Siberia 2 (previously called Altai, or the Western Route), is currently being designed. It would link western Siberian gas fields and the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region in China’s west. It may also be linked to the Chinese East-West gas pipeline, via which gas will be brought to Shanghai. Its length is about 6,700 kilometers, of which 2,700 kilometers will run across Russian territory.

In financial cooperation, the parties have agreed on mutual settlements in their respective national currencies (Russian ruble and Chinese yuan). Currently, the principal industries of Russian-Chinese bilateral investment cooperation are energy (nuclear energy, transmission and treatment of Russian oil, exports of Russian electric power, construction and refurbishment of power-generating facilities), exploitation of mineral deposits, wood processing, construction, trade, and manufacturing. The two parties actively promote cross-border collaboration of their respective regions and are interested in their even development. For Russia, this is eastern Siberia and the Far East, and for China it is the northwestern and northeastern regions. Both parties are equally interested in adopting internal documents such as Russia’s “Socioeconomic Development of the Russian Far East and the Baikal Region” and China’s “Northeast Revitalization Plan.” Humanitarian cooperation of the two parties is also developing quite vigorously. One of the first documents in that area was the Agreement on Cultural Cooperation (1992); quite soon, success was achieved in scientific


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

and educational interaction as well. On June 26, 1995, the parties signed their Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Qualifications and Academic Degrees. Since then, mutual student exchanges have expanded; for instance, in 2013, about 25,000 Chinese students were receiving education in the Russian Federation, and 15,000 Russians were studying in China. There is also mutual interest in promoting national languages and cultures. In 2005, the parties signed an agreement on the study of the Russian language in China and of the Chinese language in the Russian Federation. In 2009 and 2010, reciprocal years of the Russian and Chinese languages were held in both countries; they were highly evaluated by the leaders of the two countries and became a tradition in their bilateral relations. Furthermore, national years of Russia and China were organized (2006 and 2007), as were years of tourism (2012 and 2013), years of youth friendly exchanges (2014 and 2015), and the like. Cooperation in science, medicine, sports, media, and culture is also evolving in a productive way. In 2012, mutual tourism flows between Russia and China reached 3.3 million people, and in 2013 they exceeded 2.6 million. Russia’s Middle East Policy18

For Russia, a multiethnic country with a hefty ratio of Muslim population, the processes and events unfolding in the Middle East have not only a foreign policy significance but also a domestic political dimension. Russia’s Middle East strategy provides for preventive measures aimed at limiting the influence and penetration of extremist ideas with an Islamist component into the country. In the Middle East, Russia has a solid background of well-established connections. Traditionally, in Soviet times, its partners were Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and other countries. At the time of the Soviet Union’s disintegration, the Arab world accounted for nearly 30 percent of the Soviet trade volume with third world countries, and for 20 percent of the scope of technical and economic aid provided to those nations. The Soviet Union collaborated with Arab countries not just on political and diplomatic issues; trade and economic contacts were also expanding, and close cooperation in energy was evolving, with about 400 facilities built in their economies, infrastructures, and cultures. The relationship also involves human resources training.

At the same time, by the mid-1980s, the Soviet Union had no diplomatic relations with most monarchies of the Arabian Peninsula. Diplomatic relations with Oman were established in 1985, with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 1986, with Qatar in 1988, and with Bahrain in 1990. Those

Russian Federation


with Saudi Arabia were restored in 1991, after having been severed in 1938. In the 1990s, the Middle East, including the Arab world, was no longer regarded among Russia’s top priorities in foreign policy, as the country was going through difficult transformations itself. Only after Yevgeny Primakov was appointed foreign minister in 1996 did Russia’s policy toward the Middle East became more proactive. Prerequisites emerged for the expansion of contacts and cooperation with the region’s countries, including those that had been outside of Russia’s area of interest before. Notably, Russian investors began to display more interest in interactions with members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Russia’s energy diplomacy in the Middle East also gained momentum. The Russian Federation was actively involved in the establishment of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) in 2001, a platform to work out a collective stance on pricing matters, development of the gas transmission infrastructure, and improvement of stability of gas supplies. The eleven member nations of the organization account for 70 percent of global gas reserves and 85 percent of liquefied natural gas production. The GECF headquarters are located in Doha, Qatar. From 2010 to 2013, Russian representative Leonid Bokhanovsky was the GECF’s secretary-general.

In Iraq, positions of Russian businesses were adversely affected by the military operation of Western countries beginning in 2003 with the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime. In 2003, the Russian Federation lost about $8 billion from suspended cooperation with Iraq. However, afterward, Russia managed to partially restore its positions in Iraq’s energy industry, where a few Russian companies operated, including Lukoil, Gazpromneft, Bashneft, and Stroytransgaz. Later, the events of the 2011–2012 Arab Spring significantly hampered access to Iraqi oil fields for Russian companies; many contacts were suspended until the stabilization of the political situation.

Russia aspires to establish itself firmly in Islamic international organizations, in particular in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in which Moscow received observer status in 2005. In 2007, it obtained a similar status in the Islamic Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), which is a Muslim counterpart of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). A fair settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, including establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state, is a key issue of Russia’s foreign policy


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

strategy in the region. As a member of the quartet of international mediators in the Middle East settlement (with the United States, the EU, and the UN), the Russian Federation adheres to an objective and prudent standpoint in the matter, based on the principles and rules of international law. In recent years, the Arab world has become an arena of struggle against international terrorism. Russia, Syria, Iraq, and Iran opened an information center in Baghdad to coordinate fighting against ISIS and other terrorist groups. Since October 2015, in response to Syrian president Bashar alAssad’s official request for military aid, the Russian Federation has conducted a military operation in Syrian territory in order to destroy terrorist groupings and their infrastructure from afar. Russia has also initiated Syrian settlement, trying to find a way out of the crisis in the region. Russia and Iran19

In the 1990s and the 2000s, mutual efforts helped to create a favorable environment for a dialogue between the Russian Federation and Iran. From March 12 to 14, 2001, during Iranian president Mohammad Khatami’s state visit to the Russian Federation, the Treaty on the Basic Principles of Cooperation between the Russian Federation and Iran was signed, as were other important documents. All of them were aimed at the expansion and reinforcement of bilateral cooperation in various areas of economy, politics, and culture. In order to coordinate activities of Russian public authorities, companies, and organizations in the Iranian and Russian markets, the Permanent Russian-Iranian Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation was set up. In the first decade of the twenty-first century, the spectrum of RussianIranian cooperation began to expand, into space and aircraft building, nuclear energy, oil and gas, metals, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, transportation, communications, construction, and the environment. One key project manifesting cooperation in trade and economy is the construction of a nuclear power plant in Bushehr. The construction of a nuclear power plant in Bushehr (the first such plant in Iran and across the entire Middle East) was started in 1975 by Siemens, and was frozen after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. In the 1990s, Atomstroyexport (Russian Federation) began to finish the first generating unit, which was commissioned into operation in 2011. In 2016, a Rosatom subsidiary launched the construction of a second generating unit, and construction of a third unit is scheduled for 2018.

Interests of Russia and Iran in the Caspian region are largely the same. The relations of the two countries on the Caspian issue were given a boost

Russian Federation


in 1994, when the United States started to pursue a more active policy in the region and get more and more involved in the oil affairs there. Iran and the Russian Federation wanted to prevent US and Turkish presence and influence in the Caspian region, and to hamper plans of the United States to take control of the exploitation and production of Caspian energy resources. Therefore, in the period under review, Iran and Russia opposed division of that sea. At the second Caspian Summit One promising project in RussianIranian cooperation is the Interna(October 16, 2007, Tehran), direct tional North-South Transport Cortalks between Russian president ridor (INSTC). It was officially Vladimir Putin and his Iranian unveiled in May 2002, when a counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinerespective agreement between jad, took place. The latter called the Russia, Iran, and India took outcome of the Russian president’s effect. The corridor is to become visit of “landmark” importance in an inclusive water and land route (via Singapore, India, Iran, and the development of the bilateral Russia) connecting Asian and relations. Vladimir Putin noted the European countries. necessity of a program of joint action aimed at the expansion of those relations. Collaboration of Russian constituent territories with cities and provinces of Iran received an impetus. Russia and Latin American Countries20

The ties between Russia and Latin America gained momentum in 1996. During two official visits of Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov to Latin America in 1996 and 1997 (Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Columbia), seventeen agreements on a wide range of matters of mutual cooperation were signed. Between 2001 and 2004, a series of official visits of Russian president Vladimir Putin to Cuba, Mexico, Chile, and Brazil took place. In 2008, President Dmitry Medvedev visited Peru, Venezuela, Brazil, and Cuba, and thus a new step in the development of Russia’s relations with Latin American countries was made. In 2010, official visits of Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev to Argentina and Venezuela occurred, and in 2014, President Vladimir Putin visited Cuba, Argentina, and Brazil. High-level meetings and negotiations, a series of signed agreements, especially in the hydrocarbon sector, and peaceful nuclear, military, and technical relations, laid the foundation for a long-term relationship. Visits of leaders of Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, and other countries to Russia helped resume work of intergovernmental commissions, establish interparliamentary and business ties, and launch consultations between ministries of foreign affairs.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Since 2004, Russia has been upholding diplomatic relations with all of the thirty-three independent Latin American and Caribbean nations. The proximity of the positions shared by Russia and most Latin American countries creates the foundation for the improvement of global regulation mechanisms, including a reform of the UN. Russia has eighteen embassies and three consulates-general in the region. In fifteen countries, Russian ambassadors are accredited concurrently in more than one nation (see Appendix 11). Interactions with Latin American countries also unfold in a multipartite format—in the UN, G20 (Argentina, Brazil, Mexico), APEC (Mexico, Peru, Chile), BRICS (Brazil), and World Trade Organization (WTO). Since 1992, Russia has had observer status at the Organization of American States, since 1993 at the Latin American Integration Association, since 1997 at the Association of Caribbean States, and since 2009 at the Latin American Association of Peacekeeping Training Centers. In 1997, relations were established between Russia and the Rio Group (a permanent association of political consultation of Latin America and Caribbean countries), which were considerably expanded afterward. The parties have created a framework for a dialogue for prevention of terrorism and a fight against drug trafficking. In 2000, official relations were established between the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) and Russia, and in 2003, foreign ministers of those countries adopted a joint declaration on creating a framework for a political dialogue and cooperation. In 2006, Mercosur and Russia signed a memorandum of understanding regarding creation of a mechanism for political dialogue and cooperation that provides for regular meetings at the ministerial level. The same mechanism exists between Russia and the Andean Community. Russia also interacts with the Central American Integration System and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), implementing similar memoranda on the creation of mechanisms for political dialogue and cooperation. Contacts have been established with the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA). Priority vectors in Russia’s trade and economic cooperation with Latin American countries include the oil and gas sector and the electric power industry. Collaboration in the oil and gas sector covers supplies of equipment for the oil and gas industry to the countries of the region; exploration work; oil and gas production in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Columbia, and Venezuela; and construction of oil treatment plants and gas and oil pipelines. In the power industry, key projects provide for the upgrade and supply of new equipment for hydropower plants and thermal power plants in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, Chile, Columbia, and Mexico, as well as for the refurbishment, design, and construction of power transmission lines in Argentina and Brazil.

Russian Federation


An important cooperation project is the canal to be built in Nicaragua and to become an alternative to the Panama Canal. Chinese companies are the main contractors of the Nicaragua Grand Interoceanic Canal, a project worth $40 billion, but Russia plans to take part in the construction of relevant infrastructure. One of the first facilities of that infrastructure is the topographic center built in Nicaragua by Russian specialists and fitted with Russian equipment.

Russia assists Latin American countries in human resources training, and the Latin American Confederation of Russian (Soviet) University Alumni is a group that unites graduates who used to study in Russia. Festivals of Ibero-American culture promote traditions of cultural cooperation, as do performers touring Latin America, art exhibitions, weeks of Russian cinema, and days of Russian culture. Successful activity of the first and so far the only overseas school of the Bolshoi Theater working in the city of Joinville, Brazil, is a large-scale project of cultural cooperation. Russia’s Policies in Africa21

In the early 1990s, in connection with the collapse of the Soviet Union and Russia’s transition to market relations, a radical transformation of previous terms and mechanisms of cooperation with African countries occurred. In 1992, Russia closed nine embassies and four consulates-general there, and the staffs of the remaining diplomatic missions were downsized. In the latter half of the 1990s, Russian-African relations entered a stage of reasonable pragmatism based on equality and mutual benefit. In a foreign policy dialogue with the countries of the continent, Russia takes into account the fact that it is impossible to create an integral world system today or address, in an integrated manner, some cross-border challenges, such as international terrorism, drug trafficking, famine, and humanitarian disasters, without Africa’s involvement (the continent holds 25 percent of votes in the UN General Assembly). On key issues of the international agenda, positions of African nations and Russia are close, which provides the country with support when advocating coordinated international decisions in line with Russian interests. In 2000, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs approved a new foreign policy concept that paid attention to diversification of relations with African countries, including in economic cooperation. As a result, Russia’s diplomatic activity in Africa increased. African leaders (those of Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Nigeria, South Africa, and other countries) started to come to Moscow increasingly more often on official visits. During the United Nations Millennium Summit in New York City,


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

President Vladimir Putin met with South African president Thabo Mbeki. The year 2001 was especially prolific in that regard, when Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, Guinean president Lansana Conté, Gabonese president Omar Bongo, and Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi came to Moscow on official visits. In September 2006, Vladimir Putin’s official visit to South Africa took place. It was the first visit of a Russian leader to an African country south to the Sahara. During the visit, the parties signed their Treaty on Friendship and Partnership and a number of intergovernmental agreements. Collaboration in the energy sector is evolving dynamically. A number of joint projects in oil exploration, production, and treatment have been carried out, especially with Libya, Iraq, and Egypt, the countries where in earlier periods, before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Soviet specialists helped drill oil wells, lay gas pipelines, and build power transmission lines. Currently, Russia is engaged in a rather successful energy dialogue with Egypt. Some Russian companies (e.g., Lukoil, Novatek) work in the Egyptian energy sector. Bilateral Russian-Egyptian relations are backed up by high-level diplomacy. In August 2014, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi came to Russia on an official visit. In February 2015, the return visit of President Vladimir Putin to Cairo took place. As a result, the two parties agreed on Rosatom’s involvement in the construction of the first Egyptian nuclear power plant, and on setting up a free trade zone between Egypt and the Eurasian Economic Union. Of special importance to Russia is interaction with Algeria, the second major gas supplier to European markets. Russia takes part in international efforts aimed at fostering African development (countries of the African continent are provided with humanitarian aid via the Red Cross and Russia’s Emercom), settlement of conflicts waged in Africa (by supplying Russian armaments and technical and military personnel for peacekeeping forces), and peacekeeping operations (e.g., in Angola, Western Sahara, Sierra Leone, Sudan), which is welcomed by Africans because of the positive image of the Russian Empire and the former Soviet Union projected onto the Russian Federation. Russia is involved in virtually all peacekeeping operations on the continent: in Burundi, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Western Sahara, Côte d’Ivoire, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. Russian fuel and energy companies (Lukoil, Gazprom, Rosneft, Tatneft, Zarubezhneft, Stroytransgaz) and mining companies (Rusal, Norilsk Nickel, Alrosa, Euraz Holding, Renova, Metropol, and some others) are most actively engaged in investment activities on the continent. One important factor that helps enhance effectiveness of cooperation is the activity of established and new intergovernmental commissions on economic, scientific, and technical cooperation, which reinforce contacts with Angola, Ethiopia, Guinea, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, and other countries.

Russian Federation


In recent years, bilateral agreements have been signed to address new realities: mutual protection of investments, with Ethiopia and South Africa; avoidance of double taxation, with Botswana, Ethiopia, Mali, Namibia, Seychelles, and South Africa; and economic cooperation, with Angola, Ghana, Ethiopia, Namibia, and South Africa.

Economic Diplomacy Russia’s economic diplomacy is carried out both at bilateral levels and within the framework of regional economic associations, the most important one of which is currently the Eurasian Economic Union. Eurasian Economic Union22

The Eurasian Economic Union is a mutually advantageous project for member nations, each of which will be able to strengthen its economic potential in a major way and to drive socioeconomic development, new markets for its industries, and investment venues. The Russian Federation is no exception, as it derives a number of benefits from participating in the EAEU. One important benefit is associated with the formation of a single labor market and of a common consumer market. EAEU member nations are those with high human development. Thus, the EAEU, with its population of 183 million, has vast prospects of economic growth, in which Russia is also interested. Member nations of the Eurasian Economic Union occupy the central part of the continent, and therefore can use transit opportunities of its space and boost development of their respective territories. In that context, arrangements between Russia and China on coordination of ties between the EAEU and the New Silk Road Economic Belt are of special significance. Within the framework of that cooperation, it is necessary to expand the influence of the EAEU and China onto the areas that have so far remained outside of the purview of supranational bodies of the EAEU. This is especially relevant in the context of diversification of geography of external economic relations and strengthening of the Asian vector amid exacerbation of tensions between Asia and the West. Predictable and stable cooperation is pursued in strategically important sectors: defense, nuclear power, aircraft, and spacecraft. While the Russian Federation is rich in natural resources, after the collapse of the Soviet Union most deposits of chromium and magnesium, titanium, lead, uranium, zinc, molybdenum, and some other metals remained outside of the country. In the context of building a single market within the framework of the EAEU, transactional costs of imports of those metals to Russia are expected to be somewhat reduced.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Russia’s Energy Diplomacy23

The energy vector is an essential component of Russia’s foreign policy and diplomacy. Exports of energy resources remain a key factor in the development of national economy. Russia accounts for 12 percent of global oil trade (more than four-fifths of its volume is exported to European countries) and for 25 percent of global gas trade; it dominates both the European and the CIS gas market. Having a unique gas transmission system, the Russian Federation also plays an important role in supplies of Central Asian gas to Europe and CIS countries. Russia is ranked fifth in terms of annual coal mining (5 percent of global production and 12 percent of global energy coal trade). Russian nuclear energy accounts for 5 percent of the global market of nuclear power generation, 15 percent of the global nuclear reactor-building industry, 45 percent of the global enriched-uranium market, and 15 percent of the global market of converted spent fuel. It also accounts for 8 percent of the global recovery of naturally occurring uranium.

Russia’s energy strategy for the period up to 2030, approved on November 13, 2009, is the basic document governing the policy of Russia’s development in the energy sector within the next few decades. In addition, the Ministry of Energy has drafted Russia’s energy strategy for the period up to 2035. Russia’s energy strategy for the period up to 2030, compared to its predecessor, up to 2020, expands the covered timeframe. Compared to strategy up to 2030, the strategy up to 2035 takes into account much more fully transformation of global energy markets in the postcrisis period: declining prospects of global energy demand, accelerated shift of global energy demand to emerging countries where Russia’s presence is quite limited, and long-term slowdown of demand in Russia’s traditional markets (the EU). Foreign energy policy plays a special part in the strategy. One strategic goal of foreign energy policy is strengthening the country’s positions in external energy markets through the improvement of the competitive Russia’s energy strategy up to 2035 notes that Russia’s energy edge of Russia’s energy sector, geosector will see its principal extergraphic and product diversification nal challenge in a much tougher of exports, and enhanced quality of competition in overseas energy exported products. markets. In a longer term, the The first objective of the forcountry will face a vicious rivalry eign energy policy is to accelerate for keeping and enlarging its entry into the Asia Pacific market. share in traditional and new energy markets. By 2035, its share in Russian oil and petroleum product exports is

Russian Federation


expected to increase from 12 percent to 23 percent (crude oil to 32 percent), and in gas exports from 6 percent to 31 percent. The second objective is the product diversification of exports. Exports of petroleum products are set to see a major shift in favor of high-quality products. Exports of liquefied natural gas from Russia might reach 100 million tons. Upgrade of the petrochemical industry and of the facilities for chemical utilization of gas will help boost exports of the products of those sectors dramatically. The third objective is to keep stable relations with traditional consumers of Russian energy resources and to build long-standing ties in new energy markets. And the fourth objective is integration of Russian companies into the international energy business. Exchanges of energy assets are to become more frequent (one example is the stakes that British Petroleum, Glencore, and the Qatar Investment Authority have in Rosneft), as is effective international cooperation within the framework of risky and complicated projects in Russia (in particular, Arctic offshore projects). The infrastructural prerequisite of Russia’s entry into new energy markets and security of Russian exports will be the diversification of export routes and, foremost, the construction of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline and other export projects, for instance TurkStream, in Asia above all, alongside liquefied natural gas export infrastructure, including development of the Northern Sea Route. Development of the Northern Sea Route would contribute to the exploitation of the hydrocarbon potential of Arctic offshore areas and Russia’s northern regions, which would help stabilize oil and gas production in the country and make up for a possible production decline in traditional oil- and gas-producing regions. In oil production, Arctic offshore fields may account for 5 percent, and in gas production for up to 10 percent, of the total output by 2035. A special vector of the government’s energy policy is formation of common energy markets within the Eurasian Economic Space (crude oil, petroleum products, natural gas, coal, and power) with common regulatory principles that provide for a free flow of energy resources, energy services and technologies, as well as investment in the energy sector. To build a common market, there are prerequisites: transit of Russian hydrocarbons via territories of CIS countries continues; oil from Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan and gas from Central Asia are transmitted via Russian territory; power-supply systems function in a parallel mode; joint ventures operate—in particular, those set up with Kazakhstan and Belarus in the gas industry; and Caspian oil and gas fields are developed in association with Kazakhstan.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

These steps will allow mitigation of the risk of excessive dependence of Russia’s energy sector on energy exports to Europe, and boosting of revenues and efficiency of international operations of Russian companies, without increasing significantly exports of primary energy resources. The Eastern Siberia–Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline is one example of successful diversification of oil exports. The ESPO oil pipeline runs from the town of Taishet, Irkutsk region, to the Far East port of Kozmino in Nakhodka Bay. The pipeline is operated by Transneft, a state-owned company. The first phase of the ESPO oil pipeline (commissioned in 2009) runs to Skovorodino at the Russian-Chinese border; in 2015, its capacity was 58 million tons. After that, the pipeline bifurcates: one branch goes to China (Skovorodino-Daqing, capacity 20 million tons). The second phase (commissioned in 2012) runs via Khabarovsk to the port of Nakhodka, which provides a link between oil fields of western and eastern Siberia on the one hand, and Asian and US markets on the other.

In addition to gas and oil exports, Russia has large integrated contracts in nuclear energy with China, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Turkey, Vietnam, and some other countries. Rosatom is a leader in the global market of nuclear technology. It is ranked first in terms of nuclear power plants simultaneously built overseas, second in terms of uranium reserves and third in terms of uranium production, and second in nuclear power generation. The state-controlled company accounts for 36 percent of global uranium enrichment services and for 17 percent of the global nuclear fuel market.

Integrated contracts are executed in the design and construction of nuclear energy–generating units and fuel supplies with Argentina, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Nigeria. Joint projects in the development of uranium deposits could be carried out with Mongolia. In 2007, the leaders of Turkey made a political decision to develop nuclear energy in Russia, setting up the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority there. Russian coal is an important export item, which is supplied to China, Germany, Japan, Spain, and Turkey. Russian companies work actively at the international level, including Gazprom (gas exports), Lukoil and Rosneft (exports of oil and petroleum products), Inter RAO (exports of power), Rosatom (construction of nuclear power plants), Kuzbassrazrezugol (coal production), the Siberian Coal Energy Company, and Mechel (coal exports).

Russian Federation


Support Provided to Industrial Product Exports24

The first step in the building of the previous system of government regulation of foreign economic activities was a decree of the president of the Russian Federation of November 15, 1991, according to which all enterprises were granted the right to carry out foreign economic activities, with external trade associations losing their monopolistic positions as leading exporters and importers of products. However, radical liberalization of foreign economic activities and extreme openness of the Russian economy did not allow for backing domestic product manufacturers, optimizing the export and import structure, or mitigating or eliminating imbalances in the national economy. In that connection, new documents were passed, including a decree of November 30, 1995, on urgent measures to support exporters; a resolution on a federal program of exports development of February 8, 1996; and a federal law of April 14, 1998, on measures to protect the economic interests of the Russian Federation in foreign trade in goods. In 1993, the Russian Export-Import Bank (Eximbank of Russia) was established; it was to provide export loans on behalf of the government. In 1996, the Export-Import Insurance Company (REISO) was set up, with the controlling stake owned by Eximbank of Russia. While the adopted legislation and regulations provided for state regulation in strategic sectors of the national economy, it was described in general terms, and its scope and areas of application were strictly limited. The federal program of exports development, and the activities of Eximbank of Russia and of Export-Import Insurance Company were not backed by appropriate funding. Before 1995, Russia had 130 trade missions abroad, but as a result of a few transformations (on the basis of respective government resolutions adopted in 1998 and 2005), their number was reduced to 50. New trade missions were opened in CIS countries. Structurally, since 2018 they are units of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia. Within the ministry’s central office, their activities are coordinated by respective territorial departments.

An important stage in the building of today’s system of administrative regulation of foreign economic activities was the transfer, in 2008, of the functions of state administration in the area of trade from the Ministry of Economic Development to the Ministry of Industry and Trade. In the structure of the latter ministry, the Department of External Economic Relations was set up (currently named the Department of International Relations), which is tasked with supporting external economic activities, including all bilateral and multilateral cooperation; providing government support to industrial produce exports; and organizing and providing government backing to trade fairs of the Russian Federation organized abroad.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the basic functions in the area of economic diplomacy are performed by the Department of Economic Cooperation, which is responsible for Russia’s participation in multilateral international economic relations, collaboration with international economic and financial organizations, and providing diplomatic support to large-scale projects of multilateral economic cooperation in Russia and overseas. Respective territorial divisions are in charge of bilateral economic ties; large diplomatic missions have economic groups; in others, economic functions are carried out by one diplomat in charge. At the Ministry of Economic Development, basic functions in government regulation of external economic activities are performed by the Department of Coordination, Development, and Regulation of Foreign Economic Activity, the Department for Economic Cooperation with CIS Countries and Development of Eurasian Integration, and the Department for Trade Negotiations. From 2011 to 2015, a number of new institutions emerged to provide support to Russian exports of high-tech products, including in the context of implementing measures aimed at diversification of the economy and the search for new markets (foremost in Asian, African, and Latin American countries) amid US and EU sanctions. It is noteworthy that those institutions have been established on the basis of Vnesheconombank (Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs), a state-controlled corporation; the bank simultaneously performs functions of a development institution and traditional functions of providing funding to foreign trade. In October 2011, the Russian Agency for the Insurance of Export Credits and Investments, or Export Insurance Agency of Russia (EXIAR), was set up. Its mission includes insurance of export loans against commercial and political risks, and insurance of Russian overseas investments against political risks. In June 2015, the Russian Export Center (REC) was established to provide support to exporters. As a provider of nonfinancial backing, the center is also focused on coordinating activities of Russian trade missions abroad within the framework of support given to export projects. In early 2016, the REC Group underwent a functional merger, as a result of which the group now includes the REC, EXIAR, and Eximbank of Russia. The REC Group is focused on promoting exports of noncommodity Russian-made products by means of providing financial and nonfinancial assistance at all stages of the export activity life cycle. 1. The following section was contributed by Konstantin Petrovich Kurylev. 2. The following section was contributed by Konstantin Petrovich Kurylev. 3. The following section was contributed by Konstantin Petrovich Kurylev.


Russian Federation


4. The following section was contributed by Konstantin Petrovich Kurylev. 5. Speech of V. Putin at the meeting with ambassadors and permanent representatives of the Russian Federation. June 27, 2006, /president/transcripts/23669. 6. The following section was contributed by Konstantin Petrovich Kurylev. 7. “President Medvedev’s Five Principles,” Rossiyskaya Gazeta, September 1, 2008. 8. The following section was contributed by Konstantin Petrovich Kurylev. 9. The following section was contributed by Svetlana Alexandrovna Bokerya. 10. The following section was contributed by Konstantin Petrovich Kurylev. 11. “Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation,” Approved by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin on November 30, 2016, http://www ?p_p_id=101_INSTANCE_cKNonkJE02Bw&_101_INSTANCE_cKNonkJE02Bw _languageId=en_GB. 12. V. S. Pereboev, “Russia’s Integration Policy in the Post-Soviet Space: Stages and Strategy,” 2012, sovetskom-prostranstve.html. 13. The following section was contributed by Oleg Konstantinovich PetrovichBelkin. 14. “Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation,” 1997, files/file/partnership_and_cooperation_agreement_1997_english.pdf. 15. The following section was contributed by Vladimir Gurgenovich Dzhangiryan and Maxim Andreevich Nikulin. 16. The following section was contributed by Anatoly Vladimirovich Tsvyk and Yevgenia Vladimirovna Zhuravlyova. 17. Interview of V. Putin by Chinese newspaper Renmin Ribao (People’s Daily), July 16, 2000, 18. The following section was contributed by Elena Mikhailovna Savicheva. 19. The following section was contributed by Vladimir Ivanovich Yurtaev. 20. The following section was contributed by Alla Yurievna Borzova. 21. The following section was contributed by Nygusiye Mikael Kassae, Ludmila Vasilievna Ponomarenko, and Denis Andreevich Degterev. 22. The following section was contributed by Elena Fedorovna Chernenko. 23. The following section was contributed by Elena Fedorovna Chernenko. 24. The following section was contributed by Denis Andreevich Degterev. Anikin, V. I. Management in the System of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Moscow: East-West, 2011. Bazhanov, E. P. “Russia in the Asian-Pacific Region.” Philosophical Sciences, no. 1 (2015), pp. 12–28. Lavrov, S. V. Between the Past and the Future: Russian Diplomacy in a Changing World. Moscow: Olma Media Group, 2011. Panov, A. N. Foreign Policy and Diplomacy of the Russian Federation. Moscow: East-West, 2010. Podtserob, A. B. Russia and the Arab World. Moscow: MGIMO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, and Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 2015.

Suggested Readings


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Primakov, Ye. M. World Without Russia? Where Political Short-Sightedness Can Lead. Moscow: Rossiyskaya Gazeta, 2009. Shakleina, T. A. Russia and the U.S. in Global Politics. Moscow: Aspect Press, 2017. Titarenko, M. L. Russia and China: Strategic Partnership and Challenges of the Time. Moscow: Forum, 2014. Tsygankov, A. P. Russia’s Foreign Policy from Gorbachev to Putin. Moscow: Scholarly Book, 2008. Zhiltsov, S. S., V. P. Vorobyov, and A. D. Shutov. Evolution of Russia’s Policy in the Post-Soviet Space. Moscow: East-West, 2010.

9 Republic of Tajikistan

Foreign Policy Determinants Tajikistan is a Central Asian state located at essentially the same latitude as Greece and southern districts of Italy and Spain in the inner part of the Asian continent, at a considerable distance (1,000 kilometers) from oceans and seas. Tajikistan is a mountainous country at the junction of Pamir and Tien Shan. Out of 142,000 square kilometers of its area, only 7 percent may be classified as even land. The country’s territory extends for 700 kilometers from the west to the east, with the maximum breadth (from the north to the south) being 350 kilometers. The total length of the Tajikistan state border is 4,135 kilometers, including 1,344 kilometers with Afghanistan in the south (including the Wakhan Corridor), 495 kilomeLocated in northeastern Afghanters with China in the east and istan, the Wakhan Corridor is a northeast, more than 990 kilometers strip of land 15–57 kilometers with Kyrgyzstan in the north, and wide and about 300 kilometers 1,336 kilometers with Uzbekistan in long, separating the territory of the north and west. Tajikistan from Pakistan and The abundance of water sources India. Historically, it was the (glacier-snow, snow-glacier, snow, most difficult part of the Silk Road, and later was a buffer and snow-rain sources), combined between Central Asia and the with the mountain terrain, resulted British Raj. in development of a dense river network in Tajikistan. The total Geographic and Natural Resource Potential

This chapter was contributed by Gleb Vasilievich Kovalenko and Zafari Sherali Sayidzoda (Zafar Sheralievich Saidov). 297


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

length of 947 rivers extending to more than 10 kilometers exceeds 28,600 kilometers. Most rivers are a part of the basin of Amu Darya-Panj, Vakhsh, Kofarnihon, Zarafshon, and so forth. There are about 1,300 lakes in the country, with a total area of 705 square kilometers. Glaciers in Tajikistan are numerous and cover 6 percent of the country’s territory. Most glaciers are located in the Pamir Mountains. Almost all the mountainous terAs a result of landslides caused ritory of Tajikistan is rich in mudby the earthquake of July 10, flow channels that, as a result of 1949, Tajik kishlaks Khait and extreme accumulation of water in Khisorat were destroyed, and their headwaters, may serve as thousands of people died. The routes for mudflows with possible earthquake in the area of the catastrophic consequences. Sharora kishlak in January 1989 Hundreds of deposits rich in also caused huge landslides resulting in hundreds of deaths. coal, oil, and gas; various construction materials; ornamental, facing, and precious stones; and gold, silver, polymetals (lead, zinc), tin, tungsten, molybdenum, antimony, mercury, fluorite, bismuth, ferrum, celestine, and other mineral resources have been explored in the territory of Tajikistan. Some of them have been abandoned, others are prepared for engineering and construction, and some promising deposits require additional exploration. Southwestern Tajikistan is a province with prospective large hydrocarbon deposits. Undiscovered resources in this part of the country are estimated to be 800 million tons of fuel equivalent. Hundreds of deposits with fresh and mineral (hydrogen sulphide, iodine bromine, and carbonic acid) thermal and cold waters have been discovered and inspected in the republic. At the end of 2016, the country’s population was 8.8 million people with 36 percent of young people aged under fourteen. The natural increase of the population remains around 2.2 children per woman. The urbanization level is less than 30 percent, and аn average family living in a rural area consists of eight people. The population density is highly nonuniform. For example, in the Kuhistani Badakhshan autonomous region it is only 3.4 people per square kilometer, while in the Khatlon In the Kuhistani Badakhshan region (southwest) it is 101.6 people autonomous region, constituting per square kilometer, and in the 44.9 percent of the whole country’s Sughd region (north) it is 82.5 peoterritory, live 217,000 people (3.2 ple per square kilometer. The popupercent of the population). More lation of Dushanbe, with the territhan a half of them (about 150,000 tory of 100 square kilometers, is people) are Ismaili Shiites. 810,000 people. Demographic Potential

Republic of Tajikistan


Most of the Tajikistan population are Sunni of the Hanafi madhab. There are 3,920 mosques and the Islamic Institute in the country. The ethnic composition of the country’s population has changed significantly during the past decade and a half due to considerable outflow of people whose native tongue was Russian (Russians, Ukrainians, Tatars, Bashkirs, Jews, etc.). Out of more than 800,000 Russian-speaking former residents, only about 80,000 remain. Currently, the population is mostly composed of Tajiks (about 80 percent) and Uzbeks (about 18 percent). Despite the cataclysms associated with the collapse of the Soviet Union, civil strife, and the growth of migration to other countries, the total population increased from 2.7 million people in 1967 to 8.7 million in 2016. By 2020, total population is expected to reach 9.6 million. The natural resource, geographic, and demographic potentials of the country contribute to the specifics of its economic development. For example, large natural population growth requires accelerated creation of more jobs. The mountain terrain creates considerable technical difficulties, which results in the increased costs for the territories’ development. At the same time, the terrain is the basis for efficient development of waterpower engineering—an ecologically clean component of the fuel and energy complex—which uses renewable energy sources. In addition, it is the basis for maximizing the return from agriculture in the irrigated areas with high levels of solar power. Tajikistan’s landscapes, in combination with the balneological properties of numerous mineral (surface and underground) springs, create a unique potential for developing the tourism industry, including international tourism, alpinism, rock climbing, recreational complexes, and mountain rallies. The mineral deposits explored so far indicate the potential for developing various extractive industries. With no access to the world’s ocean and the cul-de-sac position in the international railway network, a priority is being put on the need for reconstructing the existing transport communications and building the new ones. The low specific availability of croplands (0.09 hectares of irrigation lands and 0.13 hectares of croplands per person), together with the quite limited potential for their increase, complicates the selection of agricultural crops with due consideration of their maximum economic efficiency and requires application of the latest technologies. Tajikistan is an agroindustrial country, with 18.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) attributed to agriculture, 21.9 percent to industry, and the remaining share to the services sector. In 2015, GDP at purchasing power parity was $23.3 billion, and the state budget was $2.4 billion. Since Economic Potential


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

2000, the country has experienced sustainable economic growth at the level of 5–7 percent per year. Cotton is an important agricultural crop with high export potential. It is produced in the Vakhsh valley, in the south of the country in the Obi-Kiiksk valley and on the Danghara steppe, and in the north in the areas of Asht and Kizilinsk. In 2014, 417,900 tons of cotton were harvested in the country. Production of fruit and vegetables, including tomatoes, apricots, grapes, and citrus fruit, ranks second in the total volume of the agricultural products produced by the republic. Extracting and processing enterprises of the mining subindustry, including the Tajik aluminum plant, the Tajik gold-ore factory, and the Anzob mining and milling plant, play a special role in the economy of Tajikistan. The Tajik aluminum plant, today known as State Unitary Enterprise Tajik Aluminum Company (Tursunzoda), is the country’s main exporter, exporting 98 percent of its products. In the period 2004–2007, the plant was cooperating with Russian company Rusal; however, subsequently the cooperation was terminated. The Tajik gold-ore factory (which later became known as Tajik-British Zeravshan Joint Venture, with 75 percent of shares belonging to a foreign partner and currently being purchased by a Chinese company), located in the Sughd region, processes 500,000 tons of ore per year and produces up to 3 tons of gold. If the factory’s capacity remains unchanged, the proven reserves will be sufficient for seventy years of its operation. The available capacity of the Anzob mining and milling plant (located in the Zarafshan mountain range, central Tajikistan), which produces and processes antimony-mercury ores, is 320,000 tons per year. If the plant’s designed capacity (700,000 tons of ore per year) is reached, the reserves will be sufficient for more than eighty years of its operation.

The jewel of the heavy industry is the Vostokredmet enterprise (former Leninabad Mining and Chemical Combine), which produces and enriches uranium in Buston, the Sughd region. There are also a number of small operating mining enterprises producing gold, polymetals, silver, marble, granites, mineral fillers, and precious stones (rubies). Tajikistan’s electrical energy industry is based on hydroelectric power stations, including the chain of hydroelectric power stations on the Vakhsh River (Nurek, Baypazinsk, Sangtuda-1, Sangtuda-2, and Sarband hydroelectric power plants, among others). Construction of Rogun Dam is under way, as is development of new hydroelectric power stations on the Panj, Zeravshan, and Kofarnihon Rivers. A disadvantage of Tajikistan’s electric power supply system is the

Republic of Tajikistan


lack of a base station that would operate independently of the melting rate of the glaciers and snowfields. The Sangtuda-1 hydroelectric power plant was constructed with cooperation of the OAO Unified Energy System of Russia and was opened with participation of Tajikistan’s and Russia’s presidents on July 31, 2009. Sangtuda-2 was constructed with financial support provided by Iranian company Sangob. The first unit was launched on September 5, 2011, with participation of Tajikistan’s and Iran’s presidents, and the second unit was launched in September 2014.

The armed forces of Tajikistan were established in 1993 during the civil war. The first units, troops, and groups were formed based on national army troops fighting to preserve the constitutional order in the country.

Military Potential

Since 1993, more than a hundred Tajiks have annually entered higher military educational institutions in the Russian Federation. Tajik Senior Military College (currently known as the Military Institute) was established the same year that the young Tajik army was formed. Today, military officers of Tajikistan also undergo training in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, India, and China.

In 1997, the policy of President Emomali Rahmon culminated in the General Agreement on Peace and National Consent in Tajikistan, signed in Moscow. The second stage of formation of the national army then commenced. Based on the intergovernmental agreements between the Russian Federation and Tajikistan, a Russian military advisory mission was established at the Tajik Ministry of Defense, which facilitated development of scheduled operational training of all military authorities and battle training of troops. Today, the armed forces of Tajikistan consist of land forces, air forces, and air defense forces, as well as of special and technical units, and central subordination formations. The units and establishments of the Ministry of Defense deploy military equipment and weapons of Soviet, Russian, and Chinese design. Since 1997, commissioned officers who graduate from higher military educational institutions of the Russian Federation and Tajikistan have been joining the armed forces. Most commanders are the officers who previously served in the Soviet army and who were battle-trained while defending the constitutional order in the republic.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

For the purposes of improving operational and battle training of the military authorities and troops, there have been regular command-post exercises and tactical exercises since 1998. Due to systematic operational and battle training initiated in 2000, military authorities and troops of the Ministry of Defense arrange for joint trainings and engage other uniformed services of the republic. The need for the joint operational and battle training of all the uniformed services is conditioned by the realities of the modern world and threat of international terrorism and extremism. The traditional terroristfighting method is not very effective. All the uniformed services must take an active part in combating terrorism by following a single plan and applying it to their areas of activity. That is why President Rahmon approved a new plan aimed at the republic’s protection and defense, stipulating the goals and tasks for the relevant authorities. The key role has been assigned to the Ministry of Defense, and also the General Staff of the armed forces. Within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and other contracts and agreements of Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries, the military and political leaders of Tajikistan always attached great importance to the collective efforts of the Commonwealth countries in maintaining general and regional security. Their attitude may be exemplified by the joint command-post exercises Southern Shield of the Commonwealth being conducted annually since 1999, and the joint battle shootings conducted at the Ashuluk shooting range in which the troops of the CIS Air Defense Integrated System take part. The Collective Rapid Reaction Force and Collective Rapid Deployment Force have been established, with the integrated headquarters in Bishkek. A special troops battalion, and a tactical task force allocated to the rapid reaction force from the armed forces of Tajikistan, are being constantly trained under an intensified combat training program. Good mutual relations and cooperation, including in the sphere of training military personnel, have been established with China, India, Pakistan, Iran, and other countries. Tajikistan plays an active role in the restoration of peaceful life in neighboring Afghanistan. To ensure a better and more efficient troop training, starting from 2000, at the territory of all units and establishments, training and resource bases at barracks, as well as tactical, firing, engineering, and sports campuses, and obstacle lines, were gradually built. In several establishments with enough free space, tank-training grounds and shooting grounds were also built. Possessing such training and material resources, commanders of units may conduct all types of daily trainings without leaving home bases, except for firing exercises in the field.

Republic of Tajikistan


Conceptual Framework and Mechanisms of Foreign Policy As Tajikistan became an independent state on September 9, 1991, there arose an acute issue on recognition of the country’s sovereignty by the global community. The first huge step made by the newly independent country was membership in the United Nations (UN), acquired on March 2, 1992. A decree of President Rahmon Nabiyev dated August 25, 1992, envisaged opening of representative offices of Tajikistan in Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, China, Turkey, the United States, and Germany, as well as a consulate-general in the capital of India. Tajikistan was admitted to the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Embassies of the following states were opened in the capital of Tajikistan: Iran (January 8, 1992), China (March 13, 1992), the United States (March 16, 1992), Turkey (March 22, 1992), Russia (May 4, 1992), and Pakistan (June 6, 1992). Tajikistan was visited by US secretary of state James Baker twice in 1992, and by official delegations from Iran, Pakistan, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bangladesh, Turkey, France, Germany, Romania, Kyrgyzstan, the CSCE, the IMF, the UN, and the Red Cross and Red Crescent. Bilateral agreements on cooperation in the fields of trade, economy, and culture were signed with Moldova, Ukraine, Iran, and Cuba. President Rahmon Nabiyev paid official and working visits to Finland (for signing the Final Act on Security and Cooperation in Europe, February 25–27, 1992), Iran (June 28–30, 1992), Pakistan (June 30–July 2, 1992), Afghanistan (July 14–15, 1992), and other countries. His address to the citizens of the republic of February 7, 1992, published in printed media, stated that the sovereign state of Tajikistan had been officially recognized by eighty-three countries of the world, including the United States, Great Britain, Russia, France, and China—by all permanent members of the UN Security Council. These were the first achievements of Tajikistan, a new international actor. However, the protests that commenced in March–May 1992 at Shakhidon and Ozodi squares in the country’s capital, and the outbreak of an armed conflict, cast doubt on all those achievements in the international sphere. In 1992, several foreign offices just opened in Dushanbe started to reduce the number of their personnel or even terminated their activities altogether and left the country. There was a dramatic decrease in Tajikistan’s bilateral relations with almost all countries. Tajikistan had to recover from the consequences of the civil war, the continued confrontation of the parties to the intercommunal conflict, and The First Foreign Policy Steps, 1992


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

natural disasters. The country was dominated by regional controversies exacerbated by the disastrous state of the economy, technology, culture, and the social sphere. To gradually recover from the profound social and political crisis, the republic had to mobilize all its resources. It was for these reasons that the Supreme Soviet and the government of Tajikistan determined the main positions and priorities for the state’s foreign policy. At the eighteenth session of the Supreme Soviet of Tajikistan on December 28, 1993, Chairman Rahmon outlined his foreign policy concept: strengthening of relations with CIS countries; economic and political unity of Central Asia; unity of neighboring Persian-speaking states; unity of the Muslim-dominated countries of the East; and unity of the global community toward a single, common civilization. Five Segments of Tajikistan’s Foreign Policy, 1993

During the period 1992–1997, the country was experiencing a civil war that brought huge human, socioeconomic, political, moral, and spiritual losses, from which it was almost impossible to recover. Upon the establishment of the constitutional regime in the country, the main goal and task for Tajikistan was to achieve peace in the country. The pursuit of this objective became central for Tajikistan’s foreign policy and diplomatic activity in order to ensure the country’s security and strengthen its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Formation and adoption of Tajikistan’s foreign policy were accompanied by great challenges. Inter-Tajik Negotiations

In the period 1994–1997, eight rounds of inter-Tajik negotiations were conducted, including in Moscow, Tehran, Islamabad, Almaty, and Ashkhabad. Interim consultations of the government of Tajikistan and the United Tajik Opposition (UTO), and meetings of President Rahmon and the head of the UTO, Sayid Nuri, were also held. The General Agreement on Peace and National Consent in Tajikistan was signed on June 27, 1997, in Moscow by Rahmon, Nuri, and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General Gerd Merrem. On September 15, 1997, the Commission for National Reconciliation started its work. The commission was terminated after convening the first session of the new professional parliament and forming its governing bodies, which took place on March 27, 2000.

Formation of Tajikistan’s foreign policy was difficult because it had to be developed almost from scratch. There were no appropriate traditional foreign policy activities in the country. Due to the fact that the country was experiencing civil war and all efforts were focused on its termination and

Republic of Tajikistan


launching a postconflict rehabilitation, the government started to conceptually develop the foreign policy only in 2001. The Foreign Policy Concept and Open-Door Policy Doctrine of 2002

On September 24, 2002, President Rahmon approved the first foreign policy concept for Tajikistan, and the country’s parliament adopted a law on diplomatic service. Since then, the concept has become the key political document reflecting official views on the main directions and priorities for the state’s international activities. The foreign policy concept of 2002 incorporated and established longstanding, time-tested positions and objectives, set new goals, and systemized the principal approaches of Tajikistan at the core of the state’s foreign policy activities. At the same time, the concept included some new elements such as development of national priorities, specific evaluations and areas of focus, as well as selection of the tools required for implementing solutions of the challenges of foreign policy. Also in 2002, an open-door policy doctrine was developed in Tajikistan’s foreign policy, implying a diversification of interstate relations and openness to all political lines, international contacts, and commercial and economic relations. Tajikistan began focusing on creation of favorable external conditions for promoting national development priorities and strengthening the national security of the country and its positive perception abroad. Primarily to facilitate the country’s economic development, Tajikistan sought to attract foreign investment and expand and improve cooperation in various fields with all countries across the globe on a mutually beneficial basis. During more than ten years after adopting the previous foreign policy concept, the accelerated process of political and economic transformation continued. The regional situation changed, and new challenges and security threats arose. It became necessary to update the existing foreign policy concept. The new country’s foreign policy concept was approved on January 27, 2015. It consists of four chapters: general provisions, international relations, foreign policy priorities, and development and implementation of Tajikistan’s foreign policy. The concept specifies national interests in the sphere of foreign policy activities performed by Tajikistan. Such interests also imply the country’s energy independence and food supply security, breaking the communication deadlock, and creating a belt of security and good-neighborly relations at the republic’s borders. The Foreign Policy Concept of 2015


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Among foreign policy tasks, the concept provides for the country’s participation in international and regional organizations—the UN, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), CIS, Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), CSTO, The foreign policy of Tajikistan is Organization of Islamic Cooperadefined as an independent, multition (OIC), Economic Cooperation faceted foreign policy based on Organization (ECO), Conference on unconditional respect toward the Interaction and Confidence-Building international law and impleMeasures in Asia (CICA), and Asian mented on an impartial and pragCooperation Dialogue—as well as matic basis. international financial institutions. Stable, long-term relations with traditional partners—the CIS member states—are among the foreign policy priorities. According to the concept, Tajikistan seeks to intensify mutually beneficial cooperation and integration within the Commonwealth. Development of friendly relations, allied cooperation, and strategic partnership with the Russian Federation takes an important place in the concept. Furthermore, the concept describes the common nature of goals and objectives faced by the Central Asian states, and the need for expanded and deepened relations with Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan based on trust, friendship, and mutually beneficial cooperation. Relations with China have reached the level of comprehensive strategic partnership and created a favorable framework for gradually developing multidimensional cooperation in the political, commercial and economic, cultural, and security-related fields. Friendly relations with Afghanistan and Iran are being emphasized due to historical, language, and cultural similarities. Special importance is given to intensified relations with welldeveloped countries and to their vast experience that may be used for promoting further political and economic development of Tajikistan. It is being planned to intensify partnership relations with the United States and to expand sustainable long-term cooperation with the European Union (EU) and its member states. Mutually beneficial contacts with the countries of the Near East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia are a focal point in Tajikistan’s foreign policy, to facilitate attraction of investments and entry into the fast-emerging markets of capital, technology, and industrial products, as well as use of those countries’ transit potential. The republic is also interested in deepening multisectoral, mutually beneficial relations with the Arab and Islamic countries, in particular commercial and economic cooperation. Experience accumulated during the years of independence makes it possible to develop new areas of cooperation, in particular with the countries of the North, Central, and South America, the Arab countries of North

Republic of Tajikistan


Africa, some states of the central and southern parts of the African continent, and countries of Oceania. Tajikistan supports activities carried out by the United Nations as the only organization regulating international relations and possessing authority to adopt decisions related to collective actions aimed at peacekeeping and maintaining security of the international system. Ensuring and protecting national interests, actively promoting creative initiatives and suggestions made by Tajikistan at the UN and its specialized agencies, including the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), as well as endeavoring to obtain membership in the elective bodies and structures of the UN are among the priorities of Tajikistan’s foreign policy. Certain sections of the 2015 forThe goal of economic diploeign policy concept are centered macy is to develop an efficient econon economic diplomacy, diploomy by attracting foreign investmacy of water cooperation, culments and integrating Tajikistan into tural and humanitarian diplomacy, the regional and global economies, and information diplomacy. as well as to ensure economic security of the country. The foreign policy concept’s section on water cooperation describes the country’s committed position on issues associated with the use of water resources: Tajikistan, as an upstream country that forms main water resources in Central Asia, will not create any obstacles to the regional water supply. Due to the initiatives of President Rahmon during the years of independence, Tajikistan was actively implementing water diplomacy. In 2003, President Rahmon announced an initiative to declare the International Decade for Action 2005–2018 as “Water for Life,” which was approved by the UN General Assembly. Tajikistan’s initiative to declare 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation was also approved. As a part of the International Decade for Action, a midterm comprehensive review on the decade’s implementation (June 2010), an international highlevel conference on water cooperation (August 2013), and an international high-level conference on results of the international decade’s implementation (June 2015) took place in Dushanbe. During the seventh World Water Forum, in South Korea in April 2015, Rahmon announced an initiative to declare the International Decade for Action 2018–2028 as “Water for Sustainable Development,” which was unanimously approved by the UN General Assembly.

The goals of cultural and humanitarian diplomacy are to protect and preserve the original national cultural and spiritual values of the Tajik people, to represent the republic honorably in the international arena as a country with ancient history and culture, and to expand cultural and


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

humanitarian cooperation with other countries around the globe. The information diplomacy of Tajikistan views promotion of the country’s information security as its main goal. The final part of the foreign policy concept describes the role played by public authorities in the processes associated with preparing and implementing the foreign policy of Tajikistan. To improve the foreign policy formation mechanisms, it is being planned to establish a Foreign Policy Council as an advisory body; Rahmon gave the relevant instructions during a meeting with diplomatic officials on March 15, 2013. The country’s foreign policy mechanisms were primarily developed after the state’s independence. In Tajikistan, executive powers are vested in the president of the republic. The president is the head of state and government; he establishes the Security Council and regulates it. The powers of Tajikistan’s president in the foreign policy sphere are established by the 1994 constitution according to the standard adopted by presidential republics. Pursuant to Article 69 of the constitution, the country’s president determines the main directions of its foreign policy and represents Tajikistan in foreign relations. The president exercises control over both diplomatic and other channels of communication with foreign states, as well as over the relevant apparatus required for implementation of foreign policy decisions. The head of state regulates foreign policy, signs international treaties and submits them for approval to the Majlisi Namoyandagon (Assembly of Representatives, which is the lower chamber of parliament), appoints and dismisses heads of diplomatic missions in foreign states and representatives of the republic in international organizations, as well as accepts credentials and letters of recall from heads of diplomatic missions of foreign states. The republic’s president grants political asylum and confers diplomatic ranks and special titles. The Majlisi Oli (Supreme Assembly, which is the upper chamber of parliament) is not an official agency for foreign relations and supports only active parliamentary contacts. The role of this chamber is limited to adopting legislative instruments required for implementation of the state’s foreign policy, including those regarding ratification of international treaties. Foreign policy issues are closely interrelated with national security issues. The Security Council is the constitutional body in charge of joint management over defense and security issues. It develops decisions for the main internal and external policies in the realm of national security, territorial integrity, state sovereignty, and the country’s constitutional regime. Foreign Policy Mechanisms

Republic of Tajikistan


By virtue of his position, the president of Tajikistan heads the Security Council, while its permanent members are the chairmen of the Majlisi Milli (Senate) and Majlisi Namoyandagon (Assembly of Representatives) of the Majlisi Oli (Supreme Assembly); the prime minister; and the secretary of the Security Council. The members of the Security Council are the heads of the ministries and departments overseeing economy and trade, finances, foreign affairs, justice, defense, internal affairs, security, environmental protection, and healthcare, as well as other officials.

According to its main activities and goals, the Security Council of Tajikistan establishes cross-agency commissions or working groups that, depending on the tasks assigned to them, may be formed on a permanent or temporary basis subject to their general functions or separate fields of activity, including foreign policy. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan is the central executive body of the republic that carries out foreign policy and leads the single system of the diplomatic service bodies according to the republic’s constitution and laws, presidential and governmental acts, international treaties, other regulatory legal acts, and the regulations on the ministry, as approved by the government of the republic. Activities performed by the ministry are aimed at implementation of the country’s foreign policy course as determined by the president. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the government department that develops proposals for legislative acts that fall within its competence, thus exercising its right to initiate legislation. By governmental order or upon its own initiative, the state’s foreign policy establishment prepares draft presidential decrees and draft government regulations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is entitled to submit proposals on entering into international treaties with other countries for the president’s consideration, and offer proposals on ratifying, joining, and suspending or denunciating international treaties. In case other parties to an international treaty made with Tajikistan have violated their obligations under such treaty, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs submits proposals to the government on adopting relevant measures according to the standards of international law and conditions of the treaty. The foreign policy establishment plays a coordinating role during conclusion, implementation, and denunciation of international treaties and exercises control over execution of international treaties and observance of reached arrangements. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

The republic’s central executive bodies and state bodies directly subordinated and accountable to the country’s president submit proposals to the government associated with conclusion of international treaties on the issues falling under their competence together or in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Draft international treaties proposed by state bodies require approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after undergoing legal examination by the republic’s Ministry of Justice. The foreign policy establishment is in charge of coordinating the dates and programs for foreign visits paid by the president and prime minister. To arrange for a visit, a working group consisting of employees from the relevant subdivisions of the president’s executive office, ministries, and departments is sent to a foreign country.

When carrying out intrastate and international activities, all state bodies and organizations are required to observe uniform protocol formalities and the principle of seniority, as established and prescribed by the State Protocol. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs exercises control over the observance of the State Protocol by the republic’s state bodies. The law on the diplomatic service, the first version of which was signed by President Rahmon on December 2, 2002, provides for fundamental legal principles together with organizational and operating procedures that need to be complied with by the diplomatic service. A new law on the diplomatic service was approved on December 31, 2014. According to it, the diplomatic service is a form of state service. Ministers of foreign affairs are appointed and dismissed by a presidential decree approved at a joint session of the Majlisi Milli and Majlisi Namoyandagon of the Majlisi Oli. Ambassadors and permanent representatives of the republic to international organizations are appointed and dismissed by the president. Deputy ministers of foreign affairs are appointed and dismissed by the government. Appointments and dismissals of other diplomatic employees fall under the competence of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. An important area of activities carried out the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is information diplomacy. A single, well-running system is required to form a positive image of Tajikistan that will allow high-quality news opportunities as frequently as necessary and development of regular and friendly interaction among press services of the president, parliament, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, foreign embassies, other government establishments and institutions, and news agencies of the republic with both national and foreign contracting parties. Information Diplomacy

Republic of Tajikistan


The Department of Information, Press, Analysis, and Foreign Policy Planning is a structural functional subdivision at the central apparatus of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The department’s tasks include participating in development and implementation of measures aimed at information support for the republic’s foreign policy; promotion of the republic’s participation in international organizations and forums on information-related issues; participation in interdepartmental coordination for international cooperation in the information sphere; and accreditation of correspondents from foreign mass media in Tajikistan and assisting them with their professional activity. To achieve these tasks, the department distributes official information on the issues related to foreign policy, holds press conferences and briefings, assists in preparing speeches for high representatives in the republican press center, participates in providing information support during state visits to Tajikistan and visits paid to foreign countries at high levels by the republic’s government officials and delegations, participates in preparing international agreements and treaties on information issues, releases the Diplomacy of Tajikistan newsletter of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and provides informational content for the ministry’s website. Diplomacy of Tajikistan is the annual publication of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and is prepared with the use of materials provided by the press service of the president; the Department of Information, Press, Analysis, and Foreign Policy Planning of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Khovar, the National Information Agency of Tajikistan. Traditionally, the publication contains several hundred pages of detailed information about the foreign policy results of the year, external economic activities, chronicle of events (state and official events as well as working visits), speeches of and interviews with the republic’s president, minister of foreign affairs, and other officials.

Annually, the Department of Information, Press, Analysis, and Foreign Policy Planning submits to mass media hundreds of proactive informational materials. Due to electronic communication, it has become possible to significantly accelerate their transmission. In this activity, the department closely cooperates with the Ministry of Culture; the Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting, under the government of Tajikistan; the Communications Service, under the government; the Union of Journalists; and a number of other establishments and professional journalist organizations. An important, integral part of the department’s activities is to maintain close contacts with foreign correspondents accredited in the republic. Working with them includes providing visa support to foreign journalists, accrediting them at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (required for carrying


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

out professional activities by foreign correspondents in the territory of the republic), assisting them in solving practical problems related to their staying in the country, and helping them obtain access to sources of information. Foreign Policy Priorities After the Soviet Union collapsed, Tajikistan became an equal member of the CIS. Strong links connecting the republic with this organization were predetermined by political, social, and cultural bonds. Primarily, though, these links were dictated by the country’s vital interests. At the beginning of 1993, despite signing the Collective Security Treaty, it was not clear enough that the country’s internal and external security were fully guaranteed. It was also quite obvious that Tajikistan would not be able to provide security of its borders on its own. It was also necessary to recover from severe consequences of the civil war, expand cooperation with foreign countries, and save and develop the established traditional relations in the post-Soviet space. These and other factors prompted the republic to select a policy targeting the CIS countries. Tajikistan has supported and still strongly supports further integration and rapprochement with CIS member states. During those years, collective peacekeeping forces aimed at facilitating further stabilization of the situation continued their stay in Tajikistan. Decisions on extending their stay in the country were adopted at CIS summits. During one such meeting, in Minsk in May 1995, an important document— the Comprehensive Regulation Plan for the Tajik-Afghan Border—was adopted. After the situation in Tajikistan stabilized, the country’s leaders continued to actively cooperate with post-Soviet states both within the CIS and on a bilateral basis, which remains the case today. Another foreign policy priority of Tajikistan is cooperation within the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Interest toward the Collective Security Treaty grew at the end of the 1990s, when the rise of the Taliban movement in Afghanistan and of terrorist acts of radical Islamist groups in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan caused anxiety in the Central Asian states. For the purpose of improving the treaty’s efficiency, the Collective Rapid Reaction Force was established in the region by a resolution of the Yerevan session in 2001. It consisted of the Kazakh Peacekeeping Battalion (KAZBAT), the Kyrgyz Mountain Battalion, a Russian tactical group at the battalion-unit level, and a separate communications battalion, as well as a Tajik assault combat battalion provided with the required miliIntegration into the CIS, CSTO, and SCO

Republic of Tajikistan


tary equipment. The actions of the CSTO have been primarily aimed at preservation of peace and sustainable development in the region and fighting all forms of terrorism and extremism, illegal drug trafficking, and illegal arms trade, which is currently one of the most relevant issues on the regional agenda. An important role in Tajikistan’s foreign policy is also played by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, established on the basis of the Treaty on Deepening Military Trust in Border Regions (April 26, 1996) and the Treaty on Reduction of Military Forces in Border Regions (April 24, 1997). It is quite symbolic that it was during the Dushanbe summit of the five countries held on July 4–5, 2000, that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization was renamed the Shanghai Forum. The SCO summits were also held in Dushanbe on August 28, 2008, and on September 11–12, 2014. From September 2013 through September 2014, Tajikistan held the chairmanship of the SCO under the motto “Co-operation, Co-development, Co-prosperity.” At the Ufa summit in June 2015, a representative of Tajikistan, Rashid Alimov, was elected as the SCO secretary-general for the period from January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2018. From 1991 to 1992 he held the position of the state councilor to the president of Tajikistan, from 1992 to 1994 he was the minister of foreign affairs, from 1994 to 2005 he was ambassador to the UN, and from 2005 to 2015 he was ambassador to China.

Participating in CIS, CSTO, and SCO activities makes it possible for Tajikistan to solve the tasks related to provision of regional security, and creates the conditions required for the country’s further progressive development. Diplomatic relations between Tajikistan and the Russian Federation were established on April 8, 1992, and on May 4, 1992, an embassy of the Russian Federation was opened in Dushanbe, following which the embassy of Tajikistan was opened in Moscow on December 18, 1993. On May 25, 1993, the countries signed a basic Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance, and in April 1999 a bilateral Treaty for Allied Cooperation Toward the Twenty-First CenRussia is the only country with tury. The countries concluded more which Tajikistan has a dualthan 230 contracts and agreements citizenship agreement (made in on interstate, intergovernmental, 1996). and interdepartmental bases. Cooperation with the Russian Federation


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

President Rahmon repeatedly visited the Russian Federation (April 2001, June 2004, October 2005, May 2006, June 2007, October 2009, August 2010, and August 2013), and Presidents Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev repeatedly visited Dushanbe (November 1999, July 2000, October 2001, April 2003, October 2004, August 2008, July 2009, September 2011, October 2012, and February 2017). Many meetings were held on the sidelines of the CIS, Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC), CSTO, and SCO summits between the heads of the state of the two countries. Until 2005, Tajikistan and the Russian Federation maintained enhanced cooperation on border issues. In the period 1992–2005, there was a Border Troops Group (since 1998 the Border Group of the Federal Border Service) of the Russian Federation in Tajikistan. According to the 1993 bilateral Agreement for Cooperation on Border Issues, Russian border guards defended the border of Tajikistan with Afghanistan and China. During that period, 161 Russian border guards died and 362 Russian border guards were wounded during fighting at the Afghan-Tajik border. Especially fierce fighting took place in March and July 1993, as well as in April 2003. On July 13, 2005, Russian border guards were withdrawn from Tajikistan.

Currently, the 201st military base of the Russian Federation and the Okno electro-optical space surveillance station (Nurek) are positioned in the territory of Tajikistan. Within the framework of interparliamentary cooperation, parliamentarians of the two countries hold regular meetings. Since October 2006, a standing commission in charge of working with the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation has been operating in the upper chamber of the republic’s parliament (Majlisi Milli of the Majlisi Oli). The Russian Federation is the leading trade and investment partner of Tajikistan (about 30 percent of the total foreign trade turnover). There are more than 160 joint enterprises operating in the republic. The largest joint investment project was construction of the Sangtuda-1 hydroelectric power plant on the Vakhsh River in the period 2005–2009. The Russian company Gazpromneft is the leading supplier of oil products to Tajikistan. PJSC Gazprom carries out geological prospecting works in the territory of the republic. There is also an operating Tajik-Russian intergovernmental commission for trade and economic cooperation. The efforts aimed at unifying the monetary systems of the two countries, made in the middle of the 1990s, turned out to be futile because of the prematurity of such a unification idea.

Republic of Tajikistan


The role of inter-regional coopSoviet rubles (until 1995) and eration in the system of economic Russian rubles (after 1994) were relations between the two countries in circulation in Tajikistan. On has continued to grow. Activities May 10, 1995, the Tajik ruble associated with implementation of was adopted, and on October 30, agreements on the social and legal 2000, a new national currency was introduced, the somoni security of Tajik migrant workers in (named after the founder of one Russia take an important place within of the first Tajik states, Ismail the intergovernmental cooperation. Samani [849–907]). Cooperation in the sphere of education is actively developing between the countries. Besides the Russian-Tajik Slavonic University, according to the agreement reached in August 2008 branches of Russian higher education institutions have been opened in Dushanbe. In 1996, the Russian-Tajik Slavonic University, coming under joint supervision of both countries, was established in Dushanbe; there are five faculties and an institute at the university, preparing nearly 6,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. In 2009, a branch of Lomonosov Moscow State University was opened in Tajikistan. In 2011, a branch of National University of Science and Technology MISIS was opened. And in 2013, a branch of National Research University MPEI was opened.

Annually, up to 600 budget quotas are granted to Tajik citizens, which allow them to study in the Russian higher education institutions. Since January 4, 1992, the date of adopting a joint communiqué on establishing diplomatic relations, and a memorandum for the communiqué, more than 150 official documents on cooperation in various spheres have been signed between Tajikistan and China. On March 13, 1992, the Chinese embassy was opened in Dushanbe, and the Tajikistan embassy has been operating in Beijing since April 7, 1997. The visit to China in March 1993 was the first official foreign visit paid by Rahmon as head of state to the countries outside the CIS. In 1993–1994, it was followed by mutual visits of parliamentary delegations of the two countries. A number of documents on cooperation In May 2013, Tajikistan and were signed. Tajikistan was freChina officially announced the quently visited by Chinese busielevation of their relations to the ness representatives. With regard level of strategic partnership. to the internal political problems Cooperation with China


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

faced by Tajikistan in the 1990s, China maintained an attitude of benevolent neutrality. During a series of negotiations held over the period 1992–2011, issue of the state border demarcation was resolved. In August 1999, an agreement on the Tajik-Chinese state border was signed; a supplementary agreement on demarcation of the border and settlement of territorial disputes was signed in May 2002. On January 12, 2011, Tajikistan’s parliament approved ceding 1,158 square meters of land at the Sarikol mountain range in Murghob district to China.

Initially, cooperation development was hindered by the absence of direct traffic routes. Hence it is not surprising that the efforts made by China were aimed at developing transport infrastructure between the countries, including expansion of the road corridor along the route spanning Dushanbe, Kulyab, Kalai-Khumb, Khorugh, Murghab, Kulma, and Kashgar, which made it possible to link the republic to the main cities of northwestern China. Chinese companies built three mountain road tunnels in the south and north of Tajikistan. According to a 2011 intergovernmental agreement, the only state border crossing point is the Kulma-Karasu checkpoint (a number of the approaching roads are located at a height of more than 4,000 meters above the sea level) at the territory of the Kuhistani Badakhshan autonomous region, opened in May 2004. The infrastructure required for providing year-round passage of people and transport along this high mountain route has been built there.

In 2005, regular air service was established between the countries. Discussions are currently taking place regarding the construction of a railway line that would allow China transit goods to Afghanistan and Iran through the territory of Tajikistan. In September 2014, construction of the Tajik section in the fourth string of the Central Asia–China natural gas pipeline commenced. Due to implementation of loan contracts and projects signed in June 2006 at the meeting of SCO heads of state, the Lolazor-Khatlon 220-kilovolt power transmission line was commissioned. Another South-North 500kilovolt power transmission line made it possible to create the country’s national grid. In 2016, the second stage of the Dushanbe thermal power station, built by the Chinese company TBEA, was put in commission.

China views the mining industry as a priority area of cooperation; the largest projects are extraction of zinc and lead by the Tajik-Chinese Mining

Republic of Tajikistan


Company (the Altyn-Topkan deposit in the Sughd region), as well as extraction of gold by the Tajik Gold-Ore Factory, a share of which was repurchased by Chinese investors in 2007 from a British company. China is also the leading lender to Tajikistan’s economy. The countries also develop their cooperation in the sphere of agriculture. China is among the three main foreign trade partners of Tajikistan, and its share in the external turnover is steadily increasing, especially since development of transport communication between the countries. Taking into account informal trading, the turnover significantly exceeds $1 billion. Up to 70 percent of trade operations are being performed with the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region of China. There is a Confucius Institute in Dushanbe, where several Chineselanguage courses have been established. Students from Tajikistan study in 112 Chinese higher education institutions, and in 2015 the number of such students reached about 3,000. Diplomatic relations between Tajikistan and the United States were established on February 14, 1992, and the US embassy in Dushanbe was opened in March 1992. The United States was the second country after Iran that sent an ambassador to Tajikistan. In December 2002, Tajikistan opened its embassy in Washington, D.C. Development of mutual relations US secretaries of state have visbetween Tajikistan and the United ited Tajikistan four times: in FebruStates has a selective nature ary 1992 (James Baker), October focused on several limited areas 2005 (Condoleezza Rice), October of strategic importance. 2011 (Hillary Clinton), and November 2015 (John Kerry). Since February 2010, bilateral political consultations have been conducted between the foreign affairs ministries of Tajikistan and the United States in order to agree upon positions regarding issues on the regional and international agendas. The sixth round of political consultations was conducted in Dushanbe in October 2016, and in March 2013 joint consultations on the issues of border security were held there. The minister of foreign affairs of Tajikistan, Sirodjidin Aslov, participated in the first meeting of ministers of foreign affairs of Central Asia and the United States (C5 + 1), in Samarkand in November 2015, and in the second meeting, in Washington, D.C., in August 2016. As a part of bilateral cooperation, the United States provides military assistance to Tajikistan. Annually, more than a hundred Tajik military personnel participate in various programs and trainings organized by the US Central Command. A recruit training center was opened in Tursunzoda. In Relations with the United States


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

2005–2006, following the withdrawal of the Russian border guards, about $40 million was allocated to provide necessary facilities to fifteen posts on the Tajik-Afghan border. The heads of the US Central Command (including General Lloyd Austin III [August 25–26, 2015] and General Joseph Votel [June 14–15, 2016]) regularly visit Dushanbe to discuss regional security issues. The United States has repeatedly provided humanitarian assistance in the amounts of tens of millions of dollars (for food grains, medical supplies, training of specialists, etc.). Cooperation in the sphere of healthcare is also being carried out. Trade and economic cooperation between the two countries is being developed according to the requirements of the Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, made between the governments of On August 26, 2007, there was an the United States and Central Asian official opening of the bridge across the Panj River on the borcountries (June 1, 2004, Washingder of Tajikistan and Afghanistan ton). In April 2016, a regular seswith participation of the presision with participation of Saidrahdents of Tajikistan and Afghanmon Nazrizoda, the first deputy istan, and US secretary of comminister of economic development merce Carlos Gutierrez. The and trade of Tajikistan, was held in United States financed construcBishkek. tion of the bridge in the amount of $36 million. Washington shows an interest in energy projects of Dushanbe and announces its possible participation in their implementation. For example, in August 2008, a grant agreement on preparation of feasibility studies for the expected construction of the Fon-Yagnob coal-fired power plant was signed with the United States. The European Union was one of the first providers of active humanitarian assistance to Tajikistan during the difficult period of the civil war. The legal base for the mutual relations between the EU and Tajikistan is the Agreement on Trading Cooperation, signed in 1989 with the Soviet Union and later, in 1994, between the already independent Republic of Tajikistan and the EU. In 2004, this document was replaced by the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. Its ratification by the EU continued until 2010, with application of a temporary agreement on trade and trading issues until then. Taking into account the huge technical and financial opportunities possessed by such industrialized European counties as Great Britain, Germany, France, and Italy, cooperation with them is economically advantageous for Tajikistan. Cooperation with the EU and Its Member States

Republic of Tajikistan


The priority areas of potential cooperation may be considered as follows: investment in construction of hydropower projects in Tajikistan; joint development of polymetallic ore deposits; investment and establishment of additional capacities for processing of cotton wool to finished products; and investment of works related to procurement, processing, and selling of granite, marble, semiprecious and precious stones, and precious metals. An important step in developing relations with the European Union was the accreditation of a permanent representative of Tajikistan to the European Union, who facilitates strengthening and development of the republic’s cooperation with both the EU and its member states on a bilateral basis. In recent years, a number of European states, including Germany, Great Britain, and Italy, have made an important contribution to the development of the national economy in the form of implementation of various projects and programs. In addition to these countries, a willingness to invest in Tajikistan has also been also stated by such countries as the Netherlands, ranking sixth in the world for investments, and Sweden, one of Europe’s developed countries and a leader in the sphere of development of high technologies. Tajikistan’s exports are concentrated on industrial raw materials, agricultural crops, cotton, and aluminum, and the main sales markets for such products are located in the Netherlands, Great Britain, and Switzerland. For example, more than 60 percent of Tajik aluminum is annually exported to the Netherlands. In February 2009, an official visit to Belgium by President Rahmon took place, during which, on February 10, the important meeting with the president of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, was held at the headquarters of the European Community. In the process of the negotiations, the parties discussed issues of development of economic, investment, and humanitarian relations between Tajikistan and the European Commission. Special attention was paid to regional security problems. Since the moment of commencement of the counterterrorism operation in Afghanistan, Tajikistan and the EU member states have cooperated with the aim of supporting the international coalition forces in Afghanistan and of providing the military forces of these countries with access to Tajikistan’s infrastructure, which is indicative of a common position in combating international terrorism, extremism, and illegal drug trafficking. Moreover, the parties actively cooperate within the World Trade Organization (WTO). Diplomatic relations with Kyrgyzstan were established on January 14, 1993. During a short historical period, the countries signed eighty-five Relations with the Central Asian Countries


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

various agreements, forming a solid foundation for successful, diversified cooperation. The main principles of the bilateral relations are stipulated by the Treaty on the Basic Principles of Interstate Relations (July 12, 1996) and the Treaty of Good-Neighborly and Partnership Relations (May 26, 2004). The two countries have documented agreements on cooperation in the spheres of economics, education, science, information technology, culture, sports, and interaction of law enforcement bodies and specialized structures. In the area of trade and economy, relations with Kyrgyzstan are developed with relative success in the spheres of road traffic, the metal mining industry, the hydropower industry, and reciprocal deliveries of consumer goods. An important milestone in the contemporary history of the two nations was the official visit of the president of Kyrgyzstan, Askar Akayev, to Tajikistan in 1996, as well as the official visit of Rahmon to Bishkek in May 1998. In May 2004, President Akayev paid an official visit to Tajikistan, and in September 2007 a return visit was paid to Kyrgyzstan by President Rahmon. In May 2008, the head of Kyrgyzstan Kurmanbek Bakiyev paid a working visit to the Sughd region. In July 2010, on the sidelines of the twenty-seventh session of the Interstate Council of EurAsEC, in Astana, a meeting of the leaders of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan—Rahmon and Roza Otunbayeva—was held. In December 2011, during the summits of EurAsEC, the CSTO, and the CIS in Moscow, President Rahmon met with the Kyrgyz president Almazbek Atambayev. In May 2013, President Rahmon paid an official visit to Kyrgyzstan. Promoting further intensification and expansion of bilateral cooperation, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan established their Supreme Interstate Coordination Council (the first session of which took place on May 27, 2013, in Bishkek) and their Council of Foreign Ministers (the first session of which was held on August 6, 2009, in Dushanbe). On July 12, 1997, an intergovernmental commission for complex consideration of bilateral issues was established; from 1997 through 2014, twelve sessions of the commission were held. The countries also established an intergovernmental commission for delimitation and demarcation of the state border, and sessions of such commission are held regularly. The parties intend to complete the process of delimitation and demarcation of the state border between the two countries. As part of the visit of the president of Kyrgyzstan to Tajikistan on May 26–27, 2004, Kyrgyzstan Culture Days were held in Dushanbe, during which the Tajik audience were able to become acquainted with the cultural values of the Kyrgyz people and their achievements in painting, music, sculpture, applied arts, literature, and cinematography. Slightly different relations were developed between Tajikistan and its northwestern neighbor Uzbekistan. On January 4, 1993, a comprehensive

Republic of Tajikistan


Treaty of Friendship and Mutual In general, relations between Assistance was signed, which was Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are the first comprehensive friendship characterized by mutual commitagreement concluded by Tajikistan ment to establishment of mutually with a foreign state after the indebeneficial relations in various pendence. However, starting from areas of cooperation. 1994, relations between the countries became strained. Repeated meetings of Rahmon with the top officials of Uzbekistan helped to resolve many complex economic contradictions that arose between the countries. Frequent power blackouts in the 1990s created additional difficulties for the normal operation of the republic’s national economic complex and caused significant economic damage to the country. Uzbekistan isolated Tajikistan from the Central Asian unified energy system and stopped deliveries of gas to the country, even though 98 percent of the “blue fuel” is purchased by Tajikistan from Uzbekistan. For the purposes of acquisition of energy independence, Tajikistan launched a campaign for construction of small and medium-scale hydropower plants in various parts of the country. The most ambitious project is the Rogun Dam, the first turbines of which are expected to be launched in the near future. In general, Tajik diplomats try to resolve these controversial issues at the negotiating table, guided by the law and an open-door policy. The main unresolved problem is still the issue of the hydropower sphere. Tajikistan, as a country with a large hydropower potential, is ready to use this resource for construction of a number of new hydropower stations. However, this raises concerns on the part of Uzbekistan regarding the resulting lack of water resources for irrigation of its agricultural lands. In July 2000, a Treaty of Eternal Friendship between the two countries was signed in Dushanbe. However, already in September of the same year, a visa regime was introduced for mutual travels of citizens of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, which very negatively affects the population, since a large number of the Uzbek population are Tajiks, and Uzbeks constitute about 18 percent of the citizens of Tajikistan. However, the most acute problem is the issue of demining of areas on the Tajik-Uzbek border. In 2009, Uzbekistan, acting in violation of a bilateral intergovernmental agreement on border checkpoints dated February 12, 2008, repeatedly halted the passage of citizens, vehicles, goods, cargo, and other property transferred to Tajikistan and from Tajikistan through state border checkpoints, creating tensions between the two countries. Uzbekistan is delaying signing bilateral agreements on international road passenger and freight traffic with Tajikistan and on DushanbeTashkent air communication. For a quarter of a century, there has been no regular air service between the countries due to the position of Uzbekistan.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

This is despite the signed framework agreements between the CIS member states on the principles of formation of transport space and interaction of the CIS member states in the area of transport policy (October 9, 1997, Bishkek), as well as on the weights and dimensions of vehicles engaged in interstate transportation by roads of the CIS member states (June 4, 1999, Minsk). Freight motor transport with Tajik and Kyrgyz license plates encounters serious problems during the procedure of registration by Uzbek border guards. In December 2009, Tashkent started a kind of a “rail war” against Tajikistan, having canceled movement of the passenger trains running through the territory of the Sughd region of Tajikistan by the TashkentAndijan and Bukhara-Andijan routes. After the death of Islam Karimov and election of a new president of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, hope for a gradual normalization of relations between the countries and a constructive and mutually acceptable solution of the hydropower and other outstanding issues appeared. On September 29, 2016, the minister of foreign affairs of Uzbekistan, Abdulaziz Kamilov, paid a visit to Dushanbe, during which the prospects for resetting the bilateral relations, including restoration of economic cooperation and reestablishment of railroad and air traffic, were discussed. In February 2017, Dushanbe-Tashkent air communication was established. In October 2016, an official Uzbek delegation paid a friendly visit to the Sughd region, and a session of the Intergovernmental Commission for Bilateral Cooperation was held in December of the same year. The historic reciprocal state visits at the highest level held in March and August 2018 removed the main problematic issues between the two countries that existed earlier and brought Tajik-Uzbek relations to the level of strategic partnership. Important agreements were reached and fifty-three bilateral documents were signed, including a strategic partnership treaty on August 17, 2018. Diplomatic relations with Turkmenistan were established on January 27, 1993. In February 1995, an embassy of Tajikistan was opened in Ashgabat. The bilateral political contacts are characterized by a large number of top and high-level official and working visits. For example, in January 1993, the prime minister of Tajikistan visited Turkmenistan. In July 1995 and April 1999, President Rahmon paid a working visit to Ashgabat. After the election of Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow as president of Turkmenistan, the milestone event was the mutual official visits of the heads of the states in 2007. In October 2009, Rahmon paid a working visit to Ashgabat, which was followed by a state visit of the head of Turkmenistan to Tajikistan in March 2010. In September 2011, Berdimuhamedow visited Tajikistan, and in August 2012, Rahmon visited Turkmenistan. In May 2014, the president of Turkmenistan paid an official return visit to Tajikistan. The contractual

Republic of Tajikistan


legal framework of the cooperation is formed by more than eighty documents. Tajikistan exports aluminum, agricultural products, and consumer goods to Turkmenistan, while importing from Turkmenistan oil products, cement, and cotton oil. In the period 2008–2014, five sessions of the Joint Tajik-Turkmen Intergovernmental Commission for Trade-Economic and ScientificTechnical Cooperation were held. In May 2014 in Dushanbe, in August 2015 in Ashgabat, and in November 2017 in Dushanbe, new rounds of the Tajik-Turkmen high-level negotiations took place. As a result, Turkmenistan became the fourth strategic partner of Tajikistan (after Russia, China, and Kazakhstan), which was officially declared in the bilateral agreement of November 2, 2017. In March 2013, the presidents of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan signed a trilateral memorandum of understanding in Ashgabat under the project of construction of the Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Turkmenistan railroad, and on June 6, 2014, in Atamyrat, they participated in the ceremony of launching the construction of the Turkmen section of the railroad, which was completed in November 2015. The main coordinator of the project is the Asian Development Bank. The railroad through Afghanistan to Turkmenistan will make it possible for Tajikistan to reduce its transport dependence on Uzbekistan.

In 2010, the Days of Culture of Tajikistan were held in Turkmenistan, and the Days of Culture of Turkmenistan were similarly held in Tajikistan, where the Days of Cinema of Turkmenistan were also celebrated in 2013. In June 2017 Tajik artists presented in Turkmenistan a new, large cultural program. Diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan were established in 1992. Currently, the contractual legal framework of the countries is formed by more than thirty agreements and contracts, the primary one being the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, dated March 16, 2007. An important role in the development and strengthening of bilateral relations was played by the official visit of President Rahmon to Azerbaijan in July 2012. The priority areas of economic cooperation between the republics are nonferrous metallurgy, the agroindustrial complex, the energy sector, the light industry, transport, and communications. The trade turnover between the two countries is growing. Its volume is mainly represented by the products of the state unitary enterprise the Tajik Aluminum Company (TALCO), Relations with Other CIS Countries


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

transported by Azerbaijanian sea and railway routes to European countries. Tajikistan imports from Azerbaijan alumina, charred coal, and other types of raw materials. The trade and economic relations are supported by regular top and high-level visits of delegations. Another important partner of Tajikistan, with which the republic maintains good relationships both within the Commonwealth and in the context of bilateral cooperation, is Belarus. In 1997, an embassy of Tajikistan was opened in Minsk, and an embassy of Belarus was opened in Dushanbe in 2011. The heads of states regularly meet during events held by regional and international organizations. In April 2000, after reelection of Rahmon as president of Tajikistan and completion of the peace process in the country, Aleksandr Lukashenko was the first head of state from all the Commonwealth countries to visit Dushanbe. During his visit, Lukashenko said: “Tajikistan is a country that is friendly to us, and we will support it in every possible way, since, in just two or three years, this country is able to stand upright and announce itself as a strong empire.”1 Another visit to Tajikistan was paid by the head of Belarus in 2011, during which important documents were signed, including an interstate treaty for long-term cooperation through 2020, an interstate program of economic cooperation through 2020, as well as a number of intergovernmental agreements in various areas. Moreover, the countries’ foreign policy establishments actively cooperate in the context of consultations between the foreign affairs ministries, which were held in the form of three-round negotiations from 2010 through 2012. Both the countries actively support each other at the international level, and their positions on a large number of issues are the same or similar. Within the framework of the UN, Tajikistan supported the initiative of Belarus for the ecological problems of the Kyoto Protocol, and in November 2012, Belarus expressed its support and readiness to join the initiative of Tajikistan to introduce a draft resolution titled “Implementation of the International Year of Water Cooperation” to the UN General Assembly as a cosponsor of the initiative. Moreover, Tajikistan supported Belarus’s bid for observer status at the SCO. Diplomatic relations between Tajikistan and Ukraine were established in 1992. A Tajik trade mission was opened in Ukraine, and in 2010 an embassy of Tajikistan was also opened in the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv. The mutual relations between Tajikistan and Ukraine are supported by several dozen agreements, one of the main ones being the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, dated July 6, 2001. An important place in bilateral relations is given to economic cooperation, especially in the area of modernization of hydroelectric power stations. In 2001, a number of documents aimed at promoting trade and invest-

Republic of Tajikistan


ment relations were signed, including agreements on economic cooperation, free trade, attraction and protection of investments, and cooperation in energy, industry, transport, and construction. Since Tajikistan’s independence, relations with Iran have been friendly. Iran became the first country to open its embassy in Tajikistan (January 8, 1992). President Rahmon repeatedly called Iran a natural strategic partner. In June 1995, an embassy of Tajikistan was opened in Iran. Iran assists Tajikistan in the area of hydroelectric development and thereby facilitates complete energy independence for the country. The countries are bound by a common history, language, and culture. Implementation of the Sangtuda-2 hydroelectric power plant was financed by Iranian investments. One of the reasons Iran supports the energy sector of Tajikistan is to facilitate supplies of energy to its neighbor Afghanistan, the history, culture, and language of which are similar to those of Tajikistan and Iran. Relations with Iran and India

On May 11–12, 2016, construction under the Central Asia–South Asia power project (CASA-1000) was officially launched in Dushanbe with the participation of presidents and heads of state of Tajikistan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, as well as the head of the government of Kyrgyzstan. It is planned to create a power bridge that will allow exporting excessive summer energy from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to Afghanistan and further to Pakistan. The total volume of the investments required for the construction exceeds $1 billion, including the cost of the Tajik section, amounting to more than $300 million. These funds will be used for construction of a 500-kilovolt power transmission line with a length of 477 kilometers from the Kyrgyz Datka substation to the city of Khujand in the north of Tajikistan, a converter substation in Sangtuda, as well as a high-voltage power transmission line with a length of 750 kilometers from Sangtuda to Kabul. The project is financed by the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Islamic Development Bank, the US Department of State, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, the Australian Agency for International Development, the Indian Power Networks, and others.

On August 4, 2013, Rahmon, together with other heads of state of the CIS countries (Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan), participated in the inauguration ceremony of the president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani. During this visit, an official meeting of the heads of the two states was held. Special attention was paid to expansion of trade, economic, investment, and


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

energy cooperation. It was noted that more than 150 Iranian companies operated in Tajikistan, and the volumes of their investments was growing. After the ban of the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan as a terrorist organization in September 2015, and the official visit of Rahmon to Saudi Arabia in January 2016, the relations of the country with Iran cooled slightly. Iran attaches considerable importance to cooperation in the area of culture, education, and religion. An Iranian cultural center was opened in Dushanbe. Diplomatic relations of Tajikistan and India were established in 1992, and in May 1994 an embassy of India was opened in Dushanbe. An embassy of Tajikistan was opened in New Delhi in 2003. President Rahmon paid a number of official and state visits to India (1995, 2001, 2006, 2012, 2016), and an official visit was also paid to Tajikistan by the president of India, Pratibha Patil, in September 2009. In July 2015, an official visit to Tajikistan was paid by the prime minister of India, Narendra Modi. During Rahmon’s visit to India in December 2016, the prospects for participation of Indian business in energy and transport In 2002, India and Tajikistan signed an agreement on the projects in Tajikistan were discussed. reconstruction of the Hisor miliThe countries signed several tary airfield. India spent several dozen agreements on cooperation dozen millions of dollars for the and established direct air communiairfield’s infrastructure upgrade. cation. The Indian government awards scholarships to students and military cadets from Tajikistan and implements a program of computerization of thirty-seven schools of Tajikistan. At the same time, the volume of bilateral Tajik-Iranian trade in 2016 in comparison with 2014 was sharply reduced, by half. Economic Diplomacy Currently, the main foreign trade partners of Tajikistan are Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Iran, and Switzerland. They account for approximately three-fourths of the total external turnover of the republic. As of 2014, the external turnover is valued at $5.32 billion, with a negative trade balance. Export of goods makes up $0.97 billion, and import of goods $3.36 billion. The Russian Federation accounts for 24 percent of the total external turnover and 28 percent of import deliveries of Tajikistan ($1.21 billion), while the volume of export to the Russian Federation is only $58 million. There is also a trade deficit with China that accounts for 14.6 percent of the total external turnover; specifically, the volume of imports from China Specifics of the Foreign Economic Cooperation of Tajikistan

Republic of Tajikistan


makes up 17 percent of the total republic’s import ($738 million), while export of goods from Tajikistan to China constitutes only $39 million. Kazakhstan ranks third among Tajikistan’s largest foreign trade partners and accounts for 13.9 percent of the external turnover, with a negative balance (the volume of exports is $176 million, while imports from Kazakhstan are $564 million). The structure of exports of Tajikistan is represented by the following three main product categories: first, raw materials (primarily virgin aluminum and cotton wool), as well as cocoons, rare-earth metals, concentrates, and other primary processed products; second, products and semi-finished products that have undergone several consecutive processing stages but are not yet ready for final consumption (fabrics, tobacco, geranium, etc.); and third, products that have undergone a full cycle of processing. There are favorable conditions created in Tajikistan for supporting the market structures and development of the financial-banking sector. The law of Tajikistan on investments (adopted in March 2016) provides for the protection of the rights, interests, and property of foreign investors and participants of external economic relations, regardless of their incorporation forms. After its adoption, the republic’s investment climate improved significantly. Currently, foreign investors are provided with guarantees against requisition, nationalization, and other coercive actions and for a transfer of dividends abroad in a freely convertible currency; a right to independently fix prices for the products (works, services) provided by them, determine their selling procedure, and select suppliers; and an opportunity to establish enterprises fully owned by foreign investors, as well as a ten-year guarantee of application of the regulatory framework that existed on the date of registration of the joint enterprise. Availability of high-grade mineral deposits, closeness of raw material sources to industrial centers, and a lower cost of local labor undoubtedly make the republic attractive for foreign partners. In most cases, foreign capital is attracted in the form of foreign direct investments. Establishment of joint enterprises is one of the main forms of such foreign capital attraction. Among the main founders of joint enterprises on the part of the republic are ministries and establishments, associations, and concerns; joint-stock companies; executive bodies of the state authorities of provinces, cities, and districts; and firms and companies of the private and cooperative sectors. There has been a considerable revival in the area of attracting foreign investments, which is indicative of an improvement in the investment climate in the country. The republic is regularly visited by a large number of Raising Foreign Investments


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

foreign businesspeople and government delegations coming to the country with the purpose of establishing business relations and mutually beneficial cooperation with both state institutions and national entrepreneurs. It is facilitated by the foreign economic policy of the government of Tajikistan, which is mainly characterized by the open-door policy and the most-favored treatment for foreign investments. An important role is also played by the political stability in the country and the state’s peaceful foreign policy. According to the law of Tajikistan on free economic zones, dated March 25, 2011, there are four free economic zones functioning in the country: Sughd, Ishkoshim, Panj, and Danghara. The Sughd zone, with an area of 320 hectares and located in Khujand, comprises enterprises producing plastic products, paints, electric wires, and the like, from Tajikistan, Poland, the Russian Federation, Cyprus, Turkey, and China. The Ishkoshim zone, with an area of 200 hectares, is located in the territory of the Ishkoshim district of the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous region. The Panj zone, with an area of 401 hectares, is located in the territory of the Jayhun district of the Khatlon region, and the Danghara zone, with an area of 521 hectares, is located in the Danghara district of the Khatlon region. To support these zones, a coordinating council of the government of Tajikistan and a republican fund for development of free economic zones were established.

The joint entrepreneurship practice became widely adopted in the country in all areas of manufacturing of products and provision of services, as well as in agriculture, industry, transport, communications, healthcare, insurance, banking, and so forth. Flights to Iran, the United Arab Emirates, China, India, Turkey, Pakistan, Germany, and other countries were established. In the context of its international cooperation, Tajikistan raises concessional loans and credits and participates in implementation of international aid programs, both bilateral and multilateral, with international financial organizations. Within the State Committee is the Department of Coordination of External Assistance and Project Monitoring. By order of the government of Tajikistan, in February 2017 new rules of attraction, use, coordinaThe main management body, the tion, and monitoring of external functions of which include dealing assistance were approved. To coorwith issues of foreign aid coordination, is the State Committee on dinate the actions between funders, Investments and State Property in 2007 the government of TajikManagement of Tajikistan. istan and twelve funders signed a Raising Loans and Foreign Aid

Republic of Tajikistan


joint strategy for partnership in Tajikistan, and the Donor Coordination Council (DCC) of Tajikistan was established. It comprises twenty-seven member organizations, which hold monthly meetings. With the technical assistance of the Asian Development Bank, in 2002 a database for coordination of external assistance and project monitoring was put into operation. The largest multilateral funders of Tajikistan are the World Bank Group (the International Development Association) and the Asian Development Bank, as well as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Since 1996, the World Bank has provided to Tajikistan about $1.1 billion in the form of grants (gratuitous aid) of the International Development Association, highly concessional loans, and assets of trust funds, of which $830 million have been spent. For the period 2014–2018, a new country partnership strategy of the World Bank Group has been in place, which was developed for the purposes of implementation of a $280 million program aimed at reducing poverty.

Cooperation of the World Bank Group with Tajikistan is being developed in three main areas: (1) social projects, including projects of energy conservation in the social sector and development of the education system and small business; (2) investment projects and credit facilities for various economy sectors (oil processing, transport, infrastructure, agriculture, heat supply, wastewater treatment, etc.); and (3) structural loans. Since 1993, Tajikistan has been a member of the IMF. The country has received credit facilities and assistance in the amount of $200 million from the fund. In December 2005, the republic’s debt to the IMF, in the amount of $99 million, was written off. Since 2010, the IMF has been providing only technical assistance to Tajikistan, although the prospects for granting new loans are being discussed. During the official visit of the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, in October 2004, Tajikistan’s external debt, in the amount of about $300 million, was written off. The writing off of the debt owed to the IMF and the Russian Federation made it possible to reduce the total external public debt of Tajikistan from 66.3 percent to 30.2 percent of GDP. In recent years, Tajikistan’s largest creditor has been China, the volume of financing of which exceeds the financing provided by the World Bank Group and annually makes up several hundred million dollars. Chinese loans are granted through the Export-Import Bank of China and make it possible to finance infrastructure projects on the territory of Tajikistan. An important role is played by the participation of multilateral and bilateral funds of Islamic countries, including the Islamic Development Bank, the Kuwaiti Economic Development Fund, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund, the Saudi Fund for


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Development, the Agha Khan FounPrince Karim Aga Khan IV is the dation, and bilateral assistance from spiritual leader (imam) of the Iran and Turkey. Nizari Ismaili community. The Since 1995, Aga Khan has Agha Khan Foundation finances repeatedly visited the Kuhistani activities of the Aga Khan DevelBadakhshan autonomous region of opment Network, implementing a number of social, cultural, and Tajikistan, where the largest part of educational projects. the population is Ismaili. His foundation opened a university in Khorugh, sends significant volumes of humanitarian aid to the Kuhistani Badakhshan autonomous region, and implements a mountain societies’ development support program. In October 2009, an Ismaili cultural center also opened in the capital of the republic, for the construction of which the Agha Khan Foundation spent $16 million. Bilateral assistance is also provided to Tajikistan by Germany, France, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Japan, and others. On March 2, 2013, Tajikistan became the 159th member of the WTO. Negotiations on accession to this organization were started on May 29, 2001, when the government of the republic sent a corresponding request to its secretariat. Having considered the request, on July 18, 2001, the General Council of the organization established a working party on accession of Tajikistan to the WTO. It was composed of thirty members of the organization, including the EU as a member society. Tajikistan was granted observer status at sessions of the organization. The negotiation group of Tajikistan was led by the minister of economic development and trade, Sharif Rahimzoda. It also included representatives of the parliament (the Committee for Energy, Industry, Construction, and Communication); the executive office of the president; the Ministry of Agriculture, Energy, and Industry; the Ministries of Finance, Justice, and Culture; the Customs Service, the National Bank; the Agency on Standardization, Metrology, Certification, and Trade Inspection; as well as the ambassador of Tajikistan in Geneva, Salohiddin Nasriddinov. Tajikistan held bilateral negotiations for accessing commodity markets with thirteen countries, as well as negotiations for accessing the services market with six countries. More than 100 laws of the republic were amended and adjusted. The final level of the bound import tariffs made up 8 percent, which is better (higher) than the similar indicators of a number of Central and Eastern European and CIS countries. Of the 155 services subsectors, commitments were undertaken for 111 subsectors, which is better (lower) than the indicators of a number of other countries that are new members of the WTO. WTO Accession

Republic of Tajikistan


Nine sessions of the accession working party were held in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, and its report was approved on October 26, 2012. On December 10, 2012, the republic’s WTO accession package was approved at a session of the General Council of the organization. The accession protocol of Tajikistan to the WTO was signed by the directorgeneral of the WTO and by the president of Tajikistan. On January 9, 2013, the protocol was ratified by the parliament of the republic (Majlisi Namoyandagon of the Majlisi Oli). Tajikistan’s accession to the WTO will make it possible to improve the transparency of the trade policy and practices of the trade partners and to access the WTO dispute settlement mechanism, as well as to eliminate discriminatory measures (quantitative, antidumping, compensatory, and protective) adopted by the largest trade partners of the republic. 1. S. A. Abdulloev, “President E. Rahmon and Tajikistan’s Independence,” Narodnaya Gazeta, June 7, 2011.


Alimov, R. K. Tajikistan-UN: The History of Relations. 2nd enlarged ed. Moscow: Mezhdunarodnye Otnosheniya, 2001. The Influence of External Factors on the Situation in Afghanistan and Security of Central Asia. Dushanbe: RTSU, 2010. Karimov, O. K. The Political State of Tajikistan During the 1990s of the 20th Century and in the Beginning of the 21st Century. Khujand: TSULBP, 2007. Nazarov, T. N. Tajikistan: Economic Cooperation and Security—Collection of Articles and Speeches. Dushanbe: ID MFA RT, 2003. Rakhmatulloyev, E. The UN Peacekeeping in Tajikistan and the Prospects for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia. Moscow: ASTI-Izdat, 2001. Saidov, Z. S. The Republic of Tajikistan in the Interstate Arena Before and After the Announcement of the Open-Door Policy. Dushanbe: Kontrast, 2015. Sattorzoda, A. Current Problems of the Foreign Policy of Tajikistan (Multifaceted Policy in Action). Dushanbe: Friedrich Ebert Foundation, 2014. Sayidzoda (Saidov), Z. S. The Foreign Policy of Tajikistan During the Period of Its Establishment As a Sovereign Independent State (1992–2004). 7th ed. Dushanbe: Kontrast, 2010. Yuldashev, K. Emomali Rahmonov: The Founder of the Diplomacy and External Policy of the Sovereign Tajikistan. Dushanbe: Irfon, 2001. Zarifi, H. Multifaceted Diplomacy of Tajikistan (Articles, Interviews, Speeches, Visits, and Meetings Chronicle). Dushanbe: Ofset, 2009.

Suggested Readings

10 Turkmenistan

Foreign Policy Determinants1 Turkmenistan is located in the western part of Central Asia and shares borders with four countries: Kazakhstan (in the north), Uzbekistan (in the north and east), and Afghanistan and Iran (in the south). The western part of Turkmenistan is washed by the Caspian Sea (the coastline length is 1,768 kilometers). The country lies between the Caspian Sea and the Amu Darya River. Uzbekistan and Iran have the longest borderlines with Turkmenistan (1,621 kilometers and 992 kilometers, respectively). As for the area, the country ranks fifty-second largest in the world (488,000 square kilometers). Turkmenistan has no access to the world’s oceans. It does, however, have access to the largest closed water body on the planet—the Caspian Sea. Turkmenistan has the flattest terrain among all Central Asian countries; however, only 3 percent of its area is suitable for farming and agriculture. The major part of the territory is taken up by deserts. The territory of modern Turkmenistan long served as a kind of bridge between the West and the East. This was the crossroads of the trade routes connecting Europe (Mediterranean and northern Eurasian countries) and Asia (India and China). That is why the territory often became the cause of collision among various states, and was repeatedly conquered. At the same time, the fortunate location on the crossroads of trade routes made it possible to obtain major benefits and develop the territory. The strategic importance of Turkmenistan decreased slightly after discovery of the sea route from Europe to India. Upon gaining independence in October 1991, Turkmenistan found itself in a rather advantageous position. First, plentiful deposits of oil and Territorial and Geographic Potential



Foreign Policies of the CIS States

gas allowed establishment of steady contacts with interested parties. Second, among the border countries were Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan (which had recently been a part of the Soviet Union), as well as Iran (focused on promoting its interests in Central Asia). The only exception was the troubled Afghanistan. Third, the access to the Caspian Sea provided an opportunity to develop trade and economic relations with Russia and Azerbaijan. Modern Turkmenistan is divided into five velayats (administrative regions): Ahal, Balkan, Dashoguz, Lebap, and Mary; Ashgabat, the capital, is also endowed with the rights of a velayat. There are no accurate data about the population size. In the time of the Saparmurat Niyazov administration, the data published in the official documents (population 6 million people) often did not correspond to the assessments made by international organizations. When Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow came to power, the information on the population ceased to be published (including the data of the latest census, held in 2012). Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) documents still mention 6.7 million people (data from 2006).2 At the same time, most international organizations, including the United Nations (UN), estimate the population of Turkmenistan as approximately 5 million people (as of 2013).3 Turkmens form the dominant ethnic group (85 percent). Other major ethnic groups are Uzbeks (5 percent) and Russians (4 percent). The territory of Turkmenistan is home to representatives of more than thirty peoples; the size of the non-Turkmen population is, however, very small—due to both the growing number of ethnic Turkmens and the gradual reduction in size of other ethnic groups (because of migration). This is especially noticeable with regard to the local Russian population, which has decreased to almost one-third of its original size since 1991. Demographic Potential

The ancestors of modern Turkmens were the Oghuz, a Turkic people who penetrated the western part of Central Asia and spread to the territory of northern Iran, Anatolia, and the Caucasus in the seventh and eighth centuries. The Turkmen language is close to Turkish and Azerbaijani. It is spoken by Turkmens who live not only in their own nation state (3.3 million people), but also in northwestern Afghanistan and northeastern Iran (1–2 million people). Besides, 200,000–300,000 Turkmens settled in other parts of Central Asia, Turkey, and Iraq. Tribal and ancestral relationships play a very important role in their lives. Out of numerous Turkmen tribes, the teke and the yomut are the largest.

A significant number of Uzbeks live in the Amu Darya valley close to the Turkmen-Uzbek border. Kazakhs are concentrated mainly in the north



of Turkmenistan and along the Caspian Sea coast. Both originate from other groups of Turkic people, and their language is very different from Turkmen. Russians live mainly in urban areas. They began to move to Turkmenistan in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Currently, the representatives of this ethnic minority are mainly skilled workers and engineering-technical personnel engaged in industry. The number of urban dwellers is approximately equal to that of the rural population. There is a natural increase of the population, which is largely determined by the local religious and cultural traditions that encourage a large number of children in the family. The population density depends on the geographic, climatic, and administrative features of a region (velayat). Ashgabat is the most densely populated area, with 1,854 people per square kilometer, while Balkan velayat (western Turkmenistan) has the lowest population density, at 3.9 people per square kilometer. The average population density is about 13 people per square kilometer. Islam is the dominant religion in Turkmenistan; it is practiced by almost 90 percent of the population (Turkmens, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Azeris, Baluchis, etc.). Turkmenistan belongs to the Hanafi madhhab of Sunni Islam. A nomadic people, Turkmens are not characterized by ritual religiosity (unlike, for example, Tajiks or Uzbeks). In fact, neither political nor radical Islamic sects are present in the country. An important role in the spiritual life of the country was played by the so-called rukhnamization—the introduction of ideas and quotations from the book Rukhnama into traditional Islamic symbolism. Rukhnama (meaning “book” and “spirit” in Turkmen) is the book written by Saparmurat Niyazov (Turkmenbashi), the first president of Turkmenistan (1997–2001). It was published in forty languages, with the total number of printed copies exceeding 1 million. The book reinterprets the Turkmen history and defines the customs and rules of conduct for modern Turkmens. There are five chapters in the book: “Turkmen,” “The Turkmen’s Path,” “Turkmen Nation,” “The State of Turkmen,” and “The Spiritual World of the Turkmen.” The book was conceived as the “moral constitution of the Turkmen”—therefore, it was compulsory reading in secondary schools up to 2013.

The second largest religious denomination in Turkmenistan is Orthodox Christianity (8 percent of the population are its adherents), represented by the Russian Orthodox Church. There are twelve Orthodox churches operating in the country (the majority of them are in the cities). In addition are Lutherans, Catholics, Baptists, Pentecostals, Adventists, Baha’is, Hare Krishnas, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and other comparably small religious movements. They are not significant for the political and religious situation in the country.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

The natural specifics of Turkmenistan’s territory make the major part of this land unsuitable for any activity, including agriculture. The predominance of desert areas with arid climate raises the problem of providing the population with food and fresh water, which is especially important in terms of population growth. The water supply issue is one of the most complex problems due to the lack of large freshwater bodies (primarily rivers), glaciers in the Kopet Dag mountain range, and small amounts of precipitation. The only exception is the Amu Darya River, which flows in the eastern border areas of Turkmenistan. The major part of its water resources is being used for irrigation and other household needs. The river also feeds the system of canals that bring fresh water to the population living in other territories of Turkmenistan. Under the existing circumstances, the solution to the water resources problem has become one of the priorities to the foreign policy pursued by Turkmenistan. This is especially true with regard to the state’s cooperation with Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan on the use of the Amu Darya. The food issue is also on the governmental agenda. Turkmenistan’s agricultural sector is trying to make rational use of the territories suitable for such activities. In addition, Turkmenistan is developing relations with the countries known for their advanced technologies for enhancing yield under conditions of limited natural resources—for example with Israel. The Caspian Sea can be viewed as the central area where Turkmenistan’s natural resources are concentrated. These are primarily offshore minerals and the fishing industry. Minerals (oil and gas) are the main national treasure of Turkmenistan. Natural Resource Potential

According to Turkmen scientists, the gas reserves in the country amount to 23–25 trillion cubic meters (3 trillion cubic meters according to Gazprom’s estimates, and 7.5 trillion cubic meters according to British Petroleum). That said, considerable gas reserves and deposits still remain unexplored; therefore, one can only theorize about them.

At the same time, Turkmenistan is gradually increasing its gas production with the help of foreign investments, which according to some estimates will allow the country to double its gas production in future. The major share will be exported because of the low level of gas consumption in the country. Turkmenistan has significant deposits of sulfur, lead, iodine, and bromine, as well as of raw materials used in light and process industry. The country uses its mineral resources to secure its position in the global markets, and competes with both its immediate neighbors and other



producing countries. The objects of Turkmenistan’s international cooperation with regard to the gas industry Information on the oil reserves in (which has long gone beyond the Turkmenistan is quite contradicregion) are China, Russia, and tory. According to official stateUkraine. The situation with oil proments, the oil reserves amount to duction is much more complex 20 billion tons, while Gazprom because of the limited resources. At and British Petroleum estimate the same time, the extractive industhem as only 400 million tons. tries of Turkmenistan are in serious Some of these oil deposits still remain unexplored. need of infrastructure modernization and extensive foreign investment. The specifics of Turkmenistan’s economy make it an industrial-agrarian country with a strong predominance of commodity exports. According to official data, in recent years the economy has been growing rapidly: in 2009, despite the global financial crisis, gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 6.1 percent compared to the previous year; in 2010 by 9.2 percent; in 2011 by 14.7 percent; in 2012 by 11.1 percent; in 2013 by 10.2 percent; and in 2014 by 10.3 percent. In 2014, Turkmenistan’s GDP amounted to $42.7 billion. In the current conditions of transforming market economy relations, the government is faced with the task of providing the population with social guarantees in two areas of social policy: to bring the level of social sectors’ development and infrastructure up to international standards, and to make a gradual transition to market relations in order to provide the population with the qualitatively new level of living. Parallel to these tasks, the government is dealing with the problem of preventing social upheaval and strengthening social stability. Economic Potential

When evaluating the real income of the population, one has to bear in mind that the citizens of Turkmenistan are provided with gas, electricity, water, and salt free of charge (according to the set limits). In 2014, these limits became tighter and, accordingly, the rates increased. The free-of-charge gasoline supply is canceled if such limits have been exceeded.

The most important economy sectors are services, industry, and agriculture. Oil and gas production, textiles, and, to a lesser extent, the chemical industry are the most important industrial assets. The backbone of Turkmenistan’s economy is the fuel and energy complex. Turkmenistan still remains one of the largest suppliers of natural gas, and may occupy a certain niche in the oil market with time. During the


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

years of independence, the country established strong ties with China, Iran, Russia, Ukraine, and some other countries with regard to the cross-national gas trade. The proceeds were used, among other things, to ensure the import of high-tech products from Western Europe, the United States, and Russia. Another sphere of fuel and energy complex is the electric power industry. A complex of state-owned power plants (nine thermal electric power plants and one hydroelectric power plant) allows the country to meet the domestic demand for electricity and to export it to Afghanistan, Turkey, Tajikistan, and Iran. It is quite significant that the majority of Turkmen power plants were launched after the country gained its independence. Traditionally, the textile industry has been very important for the local economy; it developed very rapidly after independence due to the volume of cultivated cotton. Its development is facilitated not only by the volume of cotton production, but also by the foreign investment it attracts. Currently there are several major textile enterprises in the country; they use imported equipment and manufacture finished products. One of them is Turkmenbashi Tekstil Kompleksi, the largest textile company in Central Asia. It produces large volumes of textiles (of multiple kinds and designs) and famous Turkmen carpets. The Turkmen carpet is one of the symbols of the country and a national treasure. Since 1992, Turkmen Carpet Day has been annually observed on the last Sunday in May.

Chemical, metallurgical, shipbuilding, light, and food industries are also developed in Turkmenistan, but to a lesser extent. Nevertheless, they also undergo certain positive changes thanks to the mineral deposits, foreign investment, and development of agriculture. Turkmenistan’s agricultural complex is represented by cotton, livestock breeding (sheep, camels, and bovine cattle), and farming of vegetables, fruits, and melons. In recent years, the government of Turkmenistan invested heavily in the transport sector. This was Turkmenistan is among the top largely due to the need for transten world producers of cotton; portation of energy resources. As a one-third of the irrigated land is consequence, the railway network is used for its cultivation. Almost being modernized, ships are being half of the country’s population is purchased, and pipeline construcinvolved in agriculture. tion projects are being implemented. The foreign trade sphere is marked by annual increases in figures. In 2014, Turkmenistan’s foreign trade turnover amounted to $36.4 billion. The main trade partners of Turk-



menistan are Russia, Turkey, Iran, and China. The country exports energy resources, as well as textile and agricultural products. The peculiarities of the Turkmen economy have an impact on the country’s foreign policy. On the one hand the country is searching for potential buyers of its traditionally exported goods, while on the other hand it is looking for foreign investors and suppliers of modern equipment and technologies. It should be noted that Turkmenistan exports raw materials and products mainly to developing countries, while its imports mostly come from developed countries. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, a major group of Soviet military resources remained under the jurisdiction of Turkmenistan. Military and Political Potential

The Soviet military legacy in the territory of Turkmenistan included 530 heavy and medium tanks; 1,132 infantry fighting vehicles, armored transport vehicles, and armored cavalry assault vehicles; 540 field artillery guns, mortars, and multiple-launch rocket systems with the caliber exceeding 100 millimeters; 314 combat aircraft; 20 combat and other helicopters; and several small warships and boats. Until 1999, border security in the Turkmen sector (including the sea) was ensured jointly with the border troops of the Russian Federation.

The Turkmen armed forces consist of about 22,000–26,000 people; given the auxiliary and service units, the number of military personnel in the country is about 50,000. The army is formed based on the draft-age principle. The commander-in-chief of Turkmenistan’s armed forces is the After accepting the Soviet milipresident. The General Staff is the tary heritage and forming the main body that exerts operational national armed forces, the govcontrol over the armed forces. The ernment of Turkmenistan opted for creating a small but efficient Ministry of Defense is aided by relarmy capable of tackling imporevant executive authorities when tant tasks aimed at repelling developing a concept for adopting external aggression and preservweapon systems, military and speing territorial integrity of the cial equipment and property, and the country. An important role in this state program of equipping the process was played by the neutral armed forces with modern types of status proclaimed by Turkmenistan in 1995. weapons. The ministry is in charge of forming the state defense order.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

According to its structure, the modern army of Turkmenistan is of mixed (division and brigade) type. The country is still under the military reform associated, in particular, with the restructure of the armed forces. The armed forces of Turkmenistan also comprise the departments of the Ministry of Defense, the State Border Service, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the National Security Committee, and the Presidential Security Service. The State Courier Service and the State Service on Registration of Foreign Citizens could also be treated as a part of the armed forces. When it comes to administrative and territorial division, Turkmenistan is divided into five military districts, corresponding to the number of velayats. The structure of the Ministry of Defense (excluding auxiliary forces) includes the land forces, air force, air defense forces, and naval forces. The land forces consist of three motorized divisions, two motorized brigades, and an air assault battalion, as well as a training division. In addition, there is an artillery brigade, a multiple artillery rocket system brigade, a Scud missile regiment, an antitank regiment, two antiaircraft brigades, and an engineering regiment. The air force includes two squadrons of fighter and fighter-bomber aircrafts, a squadron of transport aircrafts, and a training squadron. There is also a helicopter attack squadron, a helicopter transport squadron, and several battalions of antiaircraft missile systems. The two most important bases of Turkmenistan’s naval forces are located in the Caspian Sea and the Amu Darya. The Caspian fleet operates as a part of the joint Russian-Kazakh-Turkmen fleet under Russian command, with its headquarters located in Astrakhan.

The Military Institute of the Ministry of Defense of Turkmenistan was established in Ashgabat. The training of Turkmen officers is also carried out in Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Pakistan, and the United States. Turkmenistan’s military expenditures account for about 1.5 percent of its GDP ($600–650 million). The gradual reequipping of the army is being carried out thanks to the high income from energy exports. Nevertheless, the arsenal still consists mainly of the products of the Soviet militaryindustrial complex. Russia and Turkey are Turkmenistan’s main partners for military procurement. Eventually, Belarus and China could act as their competitors. The government of Turkmenistan gives priority to the procurement of tanks and the development of naval forces. In August 2014, information about the tender for the purchase of an electronic system to ensure surveillance over the Turkmen-Afghan border became public. The bids were submitted by the French company Thales and Germany’s Airbus Defense and Space. Worsening of external threats is another stimulus for the army reforms and intensified military procurement. The primary concern of the Turkmen



authorities is the situation on the Turkmen-Afghan border, as well as the attacks on the Turkmen border posts that occurred in winter, spring, and summer of 2014. Among other issues that pose a potential threat are the rather strained relations with Azerbaijan over dividing the spheres of influence in the Caspian Sea, and the unresolved contradictions with Uzbekistan. Due to the adopted reforms, the Turkmen army is superior (in its potential) to those of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan; however, it is much inferior to the armies of Central Asian leaders Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The naval forces of Turkmenistan are the weakest among those belonging to the Caspian states. In its current state, the Turkmen army is able to tackle local challenges and to successfully counter potential aggressive attacks organized by terrorist groups. However, its successful participation in any kind of regional conflict is impossible. Conceptual Framework and Mechanisms of Foreign Policy4 The conceptual framework of Turkmenistan’s foreign policy is determined by a number of documents: the constitution (May 18, 1992); the declaration on foreign policy in the twenty-first century, based on permanent neutrality and the principles of peacefulness, good-neighborliness, and democracy (1999); the foreign policy concept of Turkmenistan as a neutral state (December 27, 1995); the foreign policy concept for 2013–2017; the military doctrine (adopted in 2009); as well as other doctrinal documents. The neutral status of Turkmenistan is officially declared as the constitutional and legal norm, according to Article 2 of the constitution: “Permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan is the basis of its domestic and foreign policy.”5 Having opted for neutrality as its foreign policy model from the start, Turkmenistan’s government aimed not only to find the country’s own path of development, but also to create favorable external conditions for internal stability—by way of isolating itself from regional threats that emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Article 9 of the constitution of Turkmenistan reads as follows: “Turkmenistan, being a full subject of the world community, has the foreign policy of permanent neutrality, non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, refrains from the use of force and participation in military blocs and alliances, promotes peaceful, friendly, and mutually beneficial relations with countries in the region and states of the whole world.” Turkmenistan recognizes the priority of international rules. The Principle of Neutrality in Foreign Policy


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Both the international community and the UN recognize and support the permanent neutrality status declared by Turkmenistan, which is reflected a United Nations General Assembly resolution dated December 12, 1995. The resolution emphasizes that the United Nations “supports the declared status of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan and recognizes that this status will contribute to peace and security in the region.”6 This resolution calling for the necessity to respect and maintain the neutrality status of Turkmenistan is the first document of such kind adopted by the entire international community; 185 member states voted unanimously in favor of its adoption at the session of the UN General Assembly. Another important fact is that Turkmenistan’s neutral status can neither be changed nor canceled unilaterally without the consent of all UN member states. The majority of Turkmenistan’s official documents state that the neutrality status is the fundamental principle of Turkmenistan’s foreign policy and the result of its own choice and voluntary expression of will. This status is reinforced by the country’s obligations and approaches to international policy issues, including noninterference in foreign conflicts; nonparticipation in multilateral military, political, and other structures at the supranational level; commitment to finding peaceful and politicaldiplomatic solutions to interstate conflicts; respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of states; peaceableness; and good-neighborliness.7 Turkmenistan’s principles of neutrality are reflected in the number of political and diplomatic conceptual documents. The Declaration on International Obligations of the Neutral Turkmenistan in the Sphere of Human Rights (December 27, 1995) is of particular importance among these. As a neutral state, Turkmenistan has undertaken a number of additional obligations to the international community in the sphere of human rights, and was among the first CIS states to sign the Ottawa Treaty (Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production, and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines), on December 3, 1997. In January 1999, the country established a death-penalty moratorium. In December 1999, Article 20 of the constitution was amended, following which the death penalty as a form of criminal punishment was completely excluded from the national legislation. In October 1995, during the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Cartagena (Colombia), Turkmenistan joined this organization. The foreign policy concept of Turkmenistan as a permanently neutral country was adopted on December 27, 1995. According to the document, Turkmenistan’s foreign policy priorities are to preserve and strengthen state sovereignty, create the most favorable foreign policy conditions for the internal The Foreign Policy Concept of 1995



development of the state, advance national interests and implement security, develop constructive and mutually beneficial cooperation with foreign partners, and ensure full compliance of Turkmenistan’s foreign policy actions with the international law and the UN Charter.8 The preamble of the concept states that Turkmenistan’s status as a neutral state is based on constitutional provisions, and that the concept is the document establishing the criteria and directions of the country’s long-term strategy and tactics in relations with other states, international organizations, and other subjects of international law. The fundamental principle enshrined in the preamble of the concept states that the foreign policy of Turkmenistan is the logical continuation of its domestic policy. It is determined by the international legal status of permanent positive neutrality, which was adopted voluntarily and within the framework of inalienable rights exercised by a sovereign state. According to the foreign policy concept, the neutral status of Turkmenistan plays a major part in providing the country with vast opportunities for carrying out its peaceful foreign policy, and holding to an active and positive stance with regard to the development of peaceful and friendly relations with the countries of the region and the world. Turkmenistan builds its relations with foreign partners on the principles of equality, mutual respect, mutual benefit, and noninterference in the internal affairs of other states. The concept also emphasizes the importance that Turkmenistan attaches to its relations with the neighboring countries with whom it has strong historical, political, economic, and cultural ties. Furthermore, Turkmenistan views these relations of friendship and fraternity (and extensive cooperation in all spheres) as the most important guarantee of its sovereignty and neutral status, as well as the prerequisite to successfully achieving its foreign policy goals. The concept’s provisions stipulate the active position of Turkmenistan in dealing with international issues, the use of political dialogue for the purposes of resolving interstate disputes and conflicts, and the establishment of a more humane and constructive course in international relations. Turkmenistan joins all major international legal acts intended to guarantee the establishment of a collective security system, and therefore assures that it will neither produce nor distribute any nuclear, chemical, bacteriological, or other weapons of mass destruction, nor contribute to the creation of new types and technologies for their production. Another conceptual document that reflects the country’s foreign policy is its foreign policy concept for 2013–2017, approved by presidential decree The Foreign Policy Concept for 2013–2017


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

on December 10, 2012. The concept reflects the priorities for Turkmenistan’s international activities, while taking into account the long-term national goals and interests for the five years it refers to. The document emphasizes, once again, that neutrality remains the fundamental principle of Turkmenistan’s foreign policy. The priority objectives of the country’s foreign policy described in the concept are the provision of an integrated and reliable system of national security; preservation and strengthening of its independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; and continuous active support of the international community’s efforts in ensuring durable and lasting peace, strategic stability, and security based on universally recognized international rules and the UN Charter. The strategic direction of the country’s foreign policy is the active promotion of peace, stability, and security, both regionally and on the global scale. According to the concept, Turkmenistan treats the issue of global security in a comprehensive manner, bearing in mind the interrelationship of economic, geopolitical, military, energy, environmental, and other aspects. When shaping its foreign policy, Turkmenistan attaches fundamental importance to the bilateral format of cooperation with both neighboring states and leading powers. President Berdimuhamedow has repeatedly emphasized that Turkmenistan will continue building bilateral, friendly, equal, and good-neighborly relations with both the Central Asian states and the leading powers. Another document under which Turkmenistan exercises its foreign policy is the military doctrine. The first military doctrine of independent Turkmenistan was adopted on March 25, 1994. Although again placing emphasis on the primacy of positive neutrality principle, it viewed possible local wars and armed conflicts in the neighboring states as the main military threat. On January 29, 2009, the state adopted a new military doctrine of an independent and permanently neutral Turkmenistan that was developed in strict compliance with the principle of neutrality and with due regard to the international agenda. The complexity of relations with Uzbekistan, the threat posed by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan terrorist organization, the troubled situation on the Afghan-Turkmen border, and the disputes with Azerbaijan—all of these pushed Turkmenistan’s government not only to adopt the new military doctrine but also to conduct large-scale military reforms with the aim to increase the number of Turkmenistan’s armed forces. The military doctrine is defense-oriented and aims to ensure peace in the country, maintain social cohesion, protect peaceful and prosperous life The Military Doctrines of 1994 and 2009



of the nation, respect the integrity of borders, strengthen the armed forces’ power, increase the international prestige of the country, and develop relations of friendship and brotherhood with neighboring states. The doctrine emphasizes that Turkmenistan, while pursuing peaceful foreign policy aimed at preventing military conflicts, will not allow intensification of potential external and internal threats to its military safety.9 According to the military doctrine, the main threats the country faces are flash points of local wars and armed conflicts located close to the borders of Turkmenistan; proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, means of their delivery, and most advanced military production technologies; activity of extremist- and separatist-minded individuals aimed at destabilizing the domestic political situation; attempts to create illegal armed groups; creation or buildup of military forces by the country’s borders that could lead to violation of the existing balance of powers; international terrorism, separatism, and religious extremism; and so forth. In accordance with its neutral status, Turkmenistan is not a part of any military alliances, blocs, or interstate associations that presuppose rigid obligations or collective responsibility of their members. This indicates the reluctance of Turkmenistan to participate in any regional security system, such as the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and CIS. Moreover, the section of the concept on international military and military-technical cooperation does not even mention any major partners that help promote regional security. Article 9 of the doctrine, which states that Turkmenistan “will not host any military bases of foreign states on its territory” and “does not transport any arms or armed forces of other states to third countries via its territory,” is quite topical. Thus the country remains aside from the uneasy relations that the United States and the Russian Federation have with regard to placement of military bases in Central Asia. Turkmenistan reserves the right to possess and maintain sufficient military capability to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity. In case of aggression, the country reserves the right to ask another state or states for military assistance. Despite its permanent neutrality, Turkmenistan does not exclude cooperation with other states or international associations in the field of military security. However, Turkmenistan is apparently focused on regional cooperation with neighboring states with which it has certain national interests: in particular, transportation of Turkmenistan’s energy resources or sharing the bottom and waters of the Caspian Sea. Obviously, the list of these countries includes not only the post-Soviet countries but also Iran.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

The personality and the permanent neutrality factors have a decisive influence on foreign policy formation. Since President Berdimuhamedow came to power, Turkmenistan’s political system has been undergoing transformation toward liberalization. In 2008, the constitution was amended; the amendments proclaimed the principle of a multiparty system and the expansion of powers exercised by the parliament and political parties in various spheres of the country’s life. According to Article 71 of the constitution, the president of Turkmenistan is in charge of the foreign policy and defines its priorities, represents the country in relations with other states, conducts negotiations and signs international treaties, appoints and dismisses ambassadors and other diplomatic representatives, and accepts credentials and letters of recall from diplomatic representatives of other states.10 According to Article 81, the Majlis (parliament) determines the main directions for Turkmenistan’s foreign policy, ratifies and denounces international treaties, decides on the changes of state borders, and deals with the issues of peace and security. In accordance with Turkmenistan’s law on national security, dated May 4, 2013, the State Security Council is the authority that serves the purposes of state security and defense, including the growing influence of the permanent neutrality policy for promoting peace in the region. Article 25 of the law addresses the participation of Turkmenistan in the process of ensuring international security. The basic directions of State Security Council activity are strengthening the role of Turkmenistan in the global piece formation; forming and strengthening an effective collective security system in the geopolitical environment of the country; participating in international organizations whose activities are in the interests of national security; if necessary, taking joint decisions (together with neighboring countries) on national security issues; and entering into international treaties. The powers of the State Security Council are determined by a law dated October 23, 2008. According to Article 3 of the law, the tasks of the State Security Council include defining the strategy of permanent neutrality policy implementation in international relations; preparing information, proposals, and drafts of decisions on domestic and foreign policy issues for the president of Turkmenistan; and preventing internal and external threats.11 Following the presidential order, the State Council manages military and military-technical cooperation in international relations with friendly states. Pursuant to Article 94 of the constitution, the Cabinet of Ministers develops proposals on basic foreign policy directions and submits them to the Majlis for further consideration, conducts foreign economic activity, and ensures development of cultural and other ties with foreign states. Foreign Policy Mechanisms



The modern Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan consists of seventeen structural subdivisions: fifteen departments, one office, and the editorial board of the journal Foreign Policy and Diplomacy of Turkmenistan. Activity of Turkmenistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Since 2011, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan has been publishing Foreign Policy and Diplomacy of Turkmenistan (the research and practice quarterly) in Turkmen, Russian, and English languages with a circulation of 1,000 copies. The journal was established by a decree of President Berdimuhamedow signed in December 2010 in order to cover systematically and comprehensively all priority areas of Turkmenistan’s foreign policy. The first issue of the journal featured the text of the program speech given by the president of Turkmenistan at the expanded Cabinet of Ministers meeting on December 17, 2010. The title of the speech was “Objectives of Turkmen Diplomacy.” A special section is traditionally reserved for the articles authored by well-known politicians, public figures, or diplomats. The “Young Diplomat” column contains materials about the assessment of Turkmenistan’s international opportunities by the young employees of the Foreign Office. The “Diplomatic Life Chronicle” highlights the country’s participation in international forums and summits, international agreements, and official and state visits.

All objectives, functions, and procedures performed by the structural subdivisions of the central apparatus at Turkmenistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs are determined by the relevant regulations. The structure and number of employees working in the central apparatus of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the diplomatic missions and consular offices of Turkmenistan located abroad, are approved by the president. The activities of Turkmenistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs are regulated by the laws on diplomatic service, on the status of Turkmenistan’s diplomatic missions, on diplomatic ranks, and on consular posts. According to a report given by Raşit Meredow, the deputy chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers and minister of foreign affairs of Turkmenistan, diplomatic relations with 131 states had been established by the beginning of 2013. Twenty-nine diplomatic missions and consulates of Turkmenistan operate in foreign countries (see Appendix 11), and diplomatic missions of thirty-nine states and fifteen offices of international organizations operate in Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan has managed to build relations of equal partnership with major powers and global leaders—the United States, Russia, China, and the European Union.12 Since Niyazov’s resignation on February 21, 2003, Raşit Meredow, the minister of foreign affairs (since July 7, 2001), has also been serving as the


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

deputy prime minister (de facto head of the government, since President Berdimuhamedow also serves as prime minister). Foreign Policy Priorities13 As a result of popular referendum, Turkmenistan was proclaimed an independent state on October 27, 1991. The results of the referendum were reflected in the Constitutional Act on Independence and Foundations of State Structure: “to proclaim the territory within the borders of the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic an independent democratic state of Turkmenistan.” The overall strategy of the political development of Turkmenistan as a democratic and secular state is established in the constitution, adopted on October 28, 1991. Article 14 emphasizes: “Being an independent state and equal member of the world community, Turkmenistan independently forms and implements its foreign policy, is a direct member of the UN and international organizations, carries out diplomatic, consular, trade, and other relations, exchanges plenipotentiary representations with other countries, concludes international treaties.” Initially, the main foreign policy objectives were to ensure both stability of the country’s development and the evolutionary nature of its progress on the path of modernization; and to achieve prosperity based on political, national, and cultural autonomy, good neighborliness, and mutually beneficial cooperation with various states, primarily with the CIS countries. However, the specifics of Niyazov’s domestic policy and the proclamation of the permanent neutrality status significantly influenced the development of foreign policy and the choice of priorities in this area. In particular, the neutral status completely excluded the participation of Turkmenistan in any kind of military alliances and organizations, and significantly reduced the possibility of its military and technical cooperation with other states. Turkmenbashi’s model of ruling was negatively perceived by a number of Western countries, which affected the scope of cooperation. Evolution of Foreign Policy Priorities

By the end of Niyazov’s presidency, Turkmenistan was pursuing the foreign policy of voluntary seclusion. The country’s withdrawal from the majority of top-of-the-agenda political processes (both global and regional) narrowed the areas of cooperation in the sphere of foreign policy. The interaction with many international organizations underwent almost no development. The only exception was the CIS and its structures.

Consequently, there was virtually no increase in the number of priority partner countries with regard to the foreign policy. The closest relations



that Turkmenistan managed to develop were the relations with neighboring countries, Central Asian countries, Russia, and China. China joined the list of priority countries later, when energy cooperation between the two countries intensified. President Berdimuhamedow is not inclined to revise the foundations of the foreign policy course defined by his predecessor; he only corrects some of the directions and degrees of cooperation with certain states. Thanks to the revitalization of Chinese-Turkmen relations and the foreign policy in general, the global community has been demonstrating growing interest toward Turkmenistan. For example, during 2007, Turkmenistan signed more than forty international treaties and agreements at the interstate, intergovernmental, and intersectoral levels. Turkmenistan departed from the policy of self-isolation it had pursued for many years, and resumed dialogue with its neighbors—Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan—as well as with the leading world powers—Russia, China, Iran, and Germany. Cooperation with the UN and International Initiatives of Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan views cooperation with the UN as fundamentally important for ensuring international security. The UN is regarded as the guarantor of global peace, security, and balance of power in the international arena. Turkmen leader Berdimuhamedow has repeatedly emphasized that “from the very beginning of its independence, Turkmenistan has perceived the ideals of the United Nations as fully corresponding to our aspirations in relations with the international community. The UN principles—peaceableness, equality, respect for sovereignty of states and their right to own path of development—formed the basis of Turkmenistan’s foreign policy, and the cooperation with the UN became its priority.”14 In this regard, special attention is being paid both to the international initiatives that the president of Turkmenistan put forward at the sessions of the General Assembly and other major UN forums, and to their further implementation. These initiatives include: • Developing a declaration on priority use of political and diplomatic means in solving international issues, and its adoption by the international community. • Developing a universal political and legal document of the United Nations that would regulate the activities of states and companies in the international energy space to ensure access to, efficient use, and reliable and safe operation of international energy supply infrastructure.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

• Forming a permanent working mechanism for a multilateral political dialogue—a forum for peace and cooperation in Central Asia—with the participation of states located in the region and neighboring countries, as well as interested international organizations, with the aim to develop mutually acceptable approaches to the pressing issues of current and future development. • Developing specific, systematic, and potent measures aimed at establishment and efficient functioning of transport and transit corridors on North-South and East-West routes. • Establishing, in cooperation with the UN, a specialized structure—an inter-regional center to address climate change issues.

Adhering to a policy aimed at promoting peace and security, Turkmenistan has made tangible progress in the implementation of peacemaking processes in Central Asia. Under the UN auspices, Ashgabat hosted three rounds of inter-Tajik negotiations aimed at resolving the internal conflict in Tajikistan. With the support of the United Nations, Turkmenistan also initiated an intra-Afghan roundtable discussion and the International Forum on Assistance to Afghanistan, held in Ashgabat in January 1997.

Speaking at the international conference “Neutrality and Preventive Diplomacy: Foundation for Peace and Security” on December 11, 2012, President Berdimuhamedow emphasized that Turkmenistan’s neutral status complies with the long-term goals of the UN, as well as with the interests pursued by the states and peoples of the world when developing in the atmosphere of peace and security. President Berdimuhamedow called the neutral status a plausible factor in making international peacekeeping efforts in Central Asia.15 The opening of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia in Ashgabat on December 10, 2007, became the acknowledgment of Turkmenistan’s major contribution to international peacemaking diplomacy. The regional center became a platform for dialogue and exchange of views among the states of the region and aims to assist them in finding mutually acceptable ways for resolving crisis situations in Central Asia. The center is focused on preventing conflicts, peaceful settlement of crises, and maintaining and strengthening peace, security, and stability in the region. Cooperation with the CSTO and the SCO is performed within the framework of the center’s initiatives.

In his speech at the sixty-second session of the UN General Assembly, President Berdimuhamedow emphasized that the Center for Preventive Diplomacy chose Ashgabat as its location; the president also declared his



awareness of this great responsibility and promised he would do everything necessary for the efficient operation of the center. Turkmenistan’s government is actively cooperating with other international organizations (such as the Non-Aligned Movement, CIS, and Organization of Islamic Cooperation [OIC]) in the foreign policy and diplomacy spheres. Among the priorities of Turkmenistan’s partnership with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are creation of advanced mechanisms destined to prevent and neutralize international conflicts; fighting against all forms of terrorism and extremism; opposition to cross-border crime; and formation of modern approaches to economic, energy, and environmental cooperation. Turkmenistan’s international initiatives also include activities in the field of cultural diplomacy that promotes mutual understanding between peoples and states, and between peoples of different ethnicities and religious beliefs. The expansion of cultural cooperation is achieved through the celebration of Days of Turkmenistan’s Culture abroad and days of other countries’ culture in Turkmenistan, and via the organization of international culture and art festivals in Turkmenistan. Great importance is attached to the participation of Turkmen professionals in international research and scientific-technical exchange programs, as well as to their training in research and production centers abroad. Relations between Russia and Turkmenistan are somewhat contradictory. On the one hand, the countries have a long history of contacts. After Turkmenistan gained independence, a comprehensive legal base of cooperation was established between Ashgabat and Moscow; the base included the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (2002), which was important for the formation of key directions, links, and contacts. Besides, there exist over a hundred interstate, intergovernmental, and interdepartmental agreements that regulate the entire complex of bilateral cooperation in various fields. At the same time, among the states of post-Soviet Central Asia, Turkmenistan has the lowest density of contacts with Russia. This happens due to certain features of Ashgabat’s foreign policy as mentioned earlier. The most successful areas of cooperation between the two states are their economic and trade relations and, until recently, the oil and gas sector. The intergovernmental agreements on free trade (dated November 11, 1992) and on trade and economic cooperation (dated August 30, 2008) form the legal and regulatory framework for the trade and economic cooperation between the Russian Federation and Turkmenistan. Over a hundred enterprises with Russian capital are functioning in the territory of Turkmenistan, and a large number of joint projects are being implemented. The Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation makes certain contributions to the development of bilateral relations. Russian-Turkmen Relations


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Inter-regional cooperation has also developed to a certain degree, with St. Petersburg, Tatarstan, the Astrakhan region, and the Sverdlovsk region being the most active partners. The nature of cooperation with Russia gradually changed. In the 1990s, Turkmenistan needed a strong and influential partner capable of providing significant assistance in supporting the emerging state and acting as a mediator in the dialogue with other states. However, starting in the 2000s, Niyazov attempted to diversify the direction of Turkmenistan’s foreign policy. In the last years of his presidency, relations with Russia were limited to cooperation in the gas sector. In April 2003, the countries signed a framework Russian-Turkmen agreement providing for gas supplies to Russia for twenty-five years and presupposing a gradual increase in gas volume (to 70–80 billion cubic meters a year by 2009). Cooperation in other economy sectors, as well as military, technical, and humanitarian cooperation, ceased almost entirely. A new bilateral Treaty on Amity and Cooperation, concluded in 2002 to replace the similar document of 1992, legally confirmed the dissolution of the Russian-Turkmen military and political alliance. In 2003, Ashgabat unilaterally terminated the Russian-Turkmen agreement on dual citizenship, and later, in August 2005, downgraded its level of participation in the CIS to that of associated membership. Certain changes occurred after Berdimuhamedow came to power. The new president, however, preferred to rely on the doctrinal foundations of the foreign policy developed under his predecessor. The global economic crisis of 2008 presented Russia (or rather Gazprom) with a difficult challenge—either purchase the contracted Turkmen gas and reduce its own gas production, or opt for the violation of previous agreements. As a result of the conflict, the level of trust that Turkmenistan had in Russia with regard to gas exports and transit was undermined. Ashgabat intensified contacts with China and Iran with the aim to further diversify energy supplies. Turkmenistan also started demonstrating active interest in the Nabucco project, with the involvement of the export of energy resources from the Caspian region while bypassing Russia. Gradually, China moved forward to replace Russia as a new strategic buyer. On September 13, 2009, the Russian joint-stock company NGK ITERA and the State Agency for the Management and Use of Hydrocarbon Resources, under the president of Turkmenistan, signed an agreement on the development of Block 21 of the oil fields located in the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea. The company invested about $30 million in the project. The first phase of geochemical oil and gas exploration was completed and seismic surveys commenced. The Russian company Zarubezhneft later joined the project on Block 21 development, and the project was put on hold.



Cooperation between the two countries also develops in nonenergy economic sectors. Among the numerous Russian companies that have direct economic contacts with Turkmenistan are such notable enterprises as PO Vozrozhdenie CJSC (St. Petersburg), which deals with construction of roads, bridges, road interchanges, and overpasses in Ashgabat, Akhal velayat, and the city of Turkmenbashi. Issues associated with coordination of foreign economic activities performed by Russian and Turkmen governmental agencies, organizations, and companies (including those done in the sphere of investment and innovative-technological cooperation) are regularly discussed at the meetings of the Intergovernmental Turkmen-Russian Commission on Economic Cooperation. Despite a number of difficulties observed in the bilateral relations, there is still interdependence between Moscow and Ashgabat, as well as the potential for bilateral cooperation in other areas. Turkmenistan buys Russian tanks, military aircraft, navy motor boats, and air defense systems (used to modernize old helicopter bases and create new ones). Further cooperation is possible, provided a full-fledged naval base is created. Furthermore, there is a satellite tracking station that controls almost the entire southern border of the former Soviet Union, and a silo-based air defense system located not far from Bairam-Ali. China has become the most important economic partner of Turkmenistan. The qualitatively new stage of bilateral economic cooperation started in 2000, which coincided with adoption of a new energy strategy by China and intensification of Turkmenistan’s foreign policy. In this regard, following the talks of Chinese president Jiang Zemin and Niyazov, the two countries signed a joint statement in Ashgabat in July 2000 that assigned great importance to energy cooperation between the two states. The two parties also signed agreements on mutual protection and promotion of investments, and on trade and economic cooperation, as well as a number of other agreements. After the official visit to China paid by President Niyazov in April 2006, interstate cooperation in the energy sphere began to be regulated by the intergovernmental agreement on pipeline construction. Seven bilateral documents were signed during the visit, the most important document being the agreement between the Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources of Turkmenistan and the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) on cooperation in the oil and gas industry. Chinese companies gained access to development of oil and gas fields in Turkmenistan, both onshore and offshore (in the Caspian Sea). Relations with China


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

These bilateral economic relations intensified when Berdimuhamedow became president of Turkmenistan in 2007. In February 2007, an agreement was concluded between Turkmenneft and the Shengli Petroleum Administrative Bureau under the Chinese Petrochemical Corporation (SINOPEC) on drilling six wells in the Yashildepe field. In May 2007, after the delegation from the State Committee of China on Development and Reform visited Turkmenistan, a contract on exploration of gas fields on the right bank of the Amu Darya was signed. According to the contract, the China National Petroleum Corporation is to drill twelve exploration wells on the South Iolotan field.

Of all areas of cooperation between China and Turkmenistan, the most prominent is cooperation in the gas sector. It is manifested in the increasing development of the bilateral relations. In recent years, there have been many high-level meetings on the issues of gas cooperation between representatives of Ashgabat and Beijing. The basis for this cooperation is the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline. In May 2014, Berdimuhamedow visited Beijing. Chinese president Xi Jinping commented on the results of the meeting: “In this context, the two countries demonstrated evident determination and willingness to further strengthen strategic cooperation in this area, to accelerate the construction of the fourth line of Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline, as well as to expand cooperation in gas and oil refining, and to effectively combine their efforts aimed at ensuring the security of pipeline infrastructure and related facilities.”16 China remains the main consumer of Turkmen gas. The rate of China’s economic growth allows the country to “bind” Ashgabat closer in terms of economy due to the high purchase prices, and independent financing of the pipeline construction and infrastructure maintenance. Compared to other candidates for Turkmen energy resources, China is the clear winner. Provided Beijing keeps up the current pace of developing bilateral economic relations, it will be able—as it already is in the short term—to reach a leading position in both Turkmenistan and Central Asia. Both Turkmenistan and Iran find themselves in isolation. While Turkmenistan isolated itself voluntarily, Iran is isolated due to the nature of its political regime. Historical, cultural, religious, and ethnic ties also play a role in bilateral cooperation between the two countries. Turkmen-Iranian relations are based on economic needs and ignore any political differences. Among other important factors are also the fact that the two countries are neighbors, the existence of a long common border, Turkmen-Iranian Relations



and the centuries-old traditions of historical, religious, and cultural proximity. Iran seeks to develop relations with Turkmenistan, hoping to strengthen its position in Central Asia while at the same time pursuing pragmatic goals—the country wishes to make use of Turkmenistan’s rich hydrocarbon deposits and of the possibilities for trade in and transit to other countries of Central Asia. Another important factor is the presence of locally compact groups of native Turkmen in northern Iran. Iran is one of the most important economic partners of Turkmenistan; hundreds of major projects that strengthen the independence of the country have already been and are being implemented in collaboration with Iran. In 1998, there were registered 88 Iranian enterprises in Turkmenistan; now their number exceeds 220. Iran views Turkmenistan as a strategic partner; therefore it highly appreciates the stability of relations with the northern neighbor. Over a hundred industrial facilities (that are of priority value for national economy) were created in Turkmenistan with Iran’s help. This allowed Turkmenistan to use the state-of-the-art technologies, particularly in the field of fiber-optic communication lines, construction materials, pharmaceuticals, water purification complexes, and the like. Iran’s assistance in creating Turkmenistan’s transport infrastructure is also highly appreciated. The cooperation priority is the Commissioned in May 1996, the oil and gas sector. Iran has become Tejen-Serakhs-Mashhad railway became the shortest route to the the main importer of Turkmen oil. Middle East from Turkmenistan In 1997, its share amounted to 52 and restored the Great Silk Road. percent and continues to increase The success of this project led to annually. The first agreement on further cooperation between the transportation of Turkmen oil to two countries in the transport Iranian ports in the Persian Gulf sector. was signed in July 1998. Iranian enterprises that won several international tenders are involved in exploration and drilling of wells. The cooperation with Iran in the gas sector gave Turkmenistan extensive export opportunities: to export gas to this country, to transit gas via Iran’s territory to the Mediterranean countries and Europe, and to use Iran’s ports in the Persian Gulf to ship gas to the Far East and Southeast Asia. The countries also cooperate for establishing a common energy system. The jointly built electrical transmission line connecting the cities of Balkanabat in Turkmenistan and Aliabad in Iran was commissioned in 2003. The agreement on electricity supplies to Iran (presupposing twenty-five-year cooperation) brings Turkmenistan an annual income of $120 million.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

In Iran, Turkmenistan is considered as a strategic partner that makes impossible the implementation of the geopolitical projects of the United States aiming to isolate the country by forming a chain of buffer states along the perimeter of its land borders. That is why Tehran is trying to intensify economic, cultural, and religious cooperation with Ashgabat. For Turkmenistan, Iran is, first and foremost, an most important economic and trade partner, as well as an important actor in the sphere of energy supplies diversification. However, there are also certain contradictions between the two countries. First, they are connected with the policy of the United States and Israel in the region (it causes a negative reaction from Iran, but is supported by Ashgabat) and the religious policy of Turkmenistan’s government aimed to make Islam follow state interests and to control the activities of Iranian preachers who teach at Turkmen madrasah. Cooperation with the Central Asian Countries and Afghanistan

Given the specifics of Turkmenistan’s foreign policy, the peculiarities of its domestic political regime, the small number of fields of cooperation, and a limited number of partner countries, the relations of Ashgabat with most other countries are narrowed to cooperation in one or two nonkey spheres, or become supplemented by a complex of measures on cross-border cooperation (Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan). As for the Central Asian states, the territorial proximity of Turkmenistan with the countries of Central Asia leads to Turkmenistan having fairly strong economic ties with them. For example, since the 1990s, Turkmenistan’s foreign trade turnover with the countries of this region has increased by 3.8 times, exports by 2.4 times, and imports by 5.1 times. Yet the volume of imports exceeds the volume of exports to the Central Asian countries by more than twice. The main trade partners of Turkmenistan in Central Asia are Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan imports Turkmenistan’s oil products, liquefied gas, and some other products. Kazakhstan exports mainly grain, flour, meat and meat products, as well as products of machine-building and metalworking to Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan supplies oil, gas, and chemical products to Kazakhstan. Uzbekistan supplies agricultural machinery and spare parts, manufacturing equipment for light industry, and fruit and vegetable products. Turkmenistan exports oil products, products of glass and light industry, and construction materials to Uzbekistan. At the same time, it should be noted that the share of Central Asian countries in the general structure of Turkmenistan’s imports and exports is rather small. This is partly due to the fact that the neighboring countries



have many similar goods for export (oil, gas, cotton, etc.), and due to the limited purchasing power of some countries in the region. Israel started establishing business ties with Turkmenistan in some areas of economy in the 1990s. Cooperation in the oil and gas sector underwent particular development—both countries cooperated to implement projects on gas infrastructure reconstruction. Niyazov repeatedly declared his country’s intention to draw on Israel’s experience in creating and using high technologies. In April 2009, Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s minister of foreign affairs, obtained permission from the Turkmenistan government to open an embassy in Ashgabat. The organizational preparations for the opening of the new diplomatic mission started in May. The interest in this event was determined by the importance of Turkmenistan in the global energy market and by the geopolitical status of this country located at the northeastern borders of Iran. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan traditionally assigned its ambassador in Turkey with the responsibility to maintain connections with Israel. The same was true for Israel: nonresident ambassadors have been responsible for this segment of relations. Israel also assists Turkmenistan in developing its agriculture: Israel’s drip-irrigation system has been recently used to cultivate cotton. Furthermore, Israel supplies Turkmenistan with pharmaceuticals. Cooperation with Israel

Economic Diplomacy17 Modern Turkmenistan may be described as one of the fastest-developing states. The state’s sovereignty and economic independence contributed to its entering the global market. Turkmenistan is an active participant of foreign economic relations. Its own model of economic development, creation of a favorable investment environment, and major reforms initiated by President Berdimuhamedow were among the factors that contributed to the fundamental changes in all spheres of Turkmen society, including its economy. Specifics of Foreign Economic Relations

Currently, the geography of Turkmenistan’s foreign economic relations includes more than 110 countries. The main partner countries are Iran, Russia, China, Georgia, Italy, Turkey, and Afghanistan. Turkmenistan has signed intergovernmental agreements on trade and economic cooperation with twenty-four countries; free trade agreements with seven countries; agreements on encouragement and mutual protection of investments with twenty-one countries; and agreements on avoidance of double taxation with thirteen countries.18


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Niyazov’s presidency was marked by emergence of influential business groups formed with the help of foreign capital. Among them are the company of Israeli businessman Yossi Maiman (owner of construction companies and a major jewelry dealer) and construction companies from Turkey (headed by Ahmet Calik and Erol Tabanja) and France (Pierre Bouygues, director of international cooperation at Bouygues). The activities performed by these businesses and their representatives contributed to the expansion of foreign economic relations of Turkmenistan.

In particular, ties with France, Turkey, and Ukraine were strengthened in the construction sector, while with the United States and Israel ties were strengthened in agriculture. Russia still plays a crucial role in supplying and modernizing arms and partly in the oil and gas sector. To date, Turkmenistan has established a broad legal framework to regulate foreign economic activity. Among the basic laws, one should note the law on foreign economic activity dated May 19, 1992. The law regulates all types and forms of Turkmenistan’s foreign economic relations, establishes the basic principles and legal regulations for such activities, and defines duties and rights of the subjects of foreign economic activity. Other important public acts are the laws on foreign investment, hydrocarbon resources, and currency regulation, as well as the customs code. According to the foreign policy concept of Turkmenistan for 2013–2017, priority areas include further development of the national economy, expansion and diversification of trade and economic relations with foreign countries, and political and diplomatic support to the open-door foreign economic strategy pursued for attracting foreign investment, advanced technologies, and innovative solutions to the country. The existing enormous energy potential (based on extraction and export of hydrocarbons) is mentioned as an important factor in the active integration of Turkmenistan into the system of international trade and economic relations. The existing rich fuel and energy potential of the country determines not only the structure of Turkmenistan’s exports (mainly based on gas, oil, petroleum products, and electricity), but also the country’s position in international economic relations. Due to the fact that a major share of oil and gas produced in Turkmenistan is exported and is the main source of replenishing the state treasury, the country’s economy largely depends not only on the conjuncture of global and regional hydrocarbon markets, but also on the situation in energy security—the cornerstone of Turkmenistan’s foreign economic strategy at both multilateral and bilateral levels. Turkmenistan’s Gas Diplomacy



In 2008, following the proposal of President Berdimuhamedow, the UN General Assembly Resolution on Reliable and Stable Transit of Energy and Its Role in Ensuring Sustainable Development and International Cooperation was adopted. The resolution laid a new foundation for long-term interaction of the ministries and state departments of Turkmenistan with foreign partners. The specific proposals concerning the development of this issue (topical for the entire international community) were introduced by the president of Turkmenistan in September 2009 at the sixty-fourth session of the UN General Assembly. In particular, he suggested establishing an expert group for elaborating the future international legal instrument to transit energy resources that would take into account the proposals of all interested countries and international organizations. The establishment of such a group, according to the head of the Turkmen state, should speed up the process of preparing a comprehensive UN document aimed at ensuring the effective functioning of the international energy supply system.19

In 2017, Turkmenistan chaired the Energy Charter Conference, with the conference session taking place in Ashgabat. All foreign economic strategy of Ashgabat is subordinated to the wish of enhancing the export potential of oil and gas products and, in this regard, of creating an extensive, modern, and efficient infrastructure for transit and delivery of energy sources. To increase export sales of its petroleum products, Turkmenistan is planning to implement the following projects: the Pre-Caspian gas pipeline (jointly with Kazakhstan and Russia); the TAPI pipeline to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India; and the Trans-Caspian pipeline to connect Turkmenistan with Azerbaijan and allow it to deliver Caspian gas to Europe bypassing Russia. The shortage of its own financial resources, technologies, and well-trained professionals forces Turkmenistan to pursue an open-door policy aiming to increase foreign investment in the oil and gas industry. In creating a favorable investment climate, Turkmenistan seeks cooperation with everyone interested in doing business with the country according to the principles of equality and mutual trade.

Turkmen gas used to be channeled into the unified gas pipeline system of the Soviet Union, and was supplied to cover a significant part of Ukraine’s fuel and energy balance in the early 1990s. All Turkmenistan’s gas products, except for the relatively small volumes of gas intended for domestic consumption, were supplied via the Central Asia–Center gas pipeline system. The Central Asia–Center and Pre-Caspian Pipelines


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

The first line of the Central Asia–Center pipeline system was commissioned in 1967. By 1985, the capacity of the pipeline increased significantly. The pipeline’s length amounted to 5,000 kilometers, and the annual volume of supplied natural gas increased to 80 billion cubic meters. The pipeline connects the gas-producing areas in southeastern Turkmenistan (via the territories of neighboring Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan) with the central regions of Russia, where then it is connected to the network of pipelines that lead to Ukraine and thus provide access to the European market. For many years it was the only promising route to transport Turkmen gas for export purposes. Since 1991, Turkmen gas has been transported to foreign countries by Russian monopolies within the limits of the quota annually allocated to Ashgabat by Moscow.

In October 1993, the Russian Federation (represented by the Gazprom concern) stopped exporting gas from Turkmenistan to Europe. At that time, Ashgabat was able to deliver its fuel only to the traditional markets—the former Soviet Union republics. However, selling energy to the Caucasus countries and the Ukraine could not bring the desired economic effect. When the bilateral trade started to rely upon the calculations based on the global prices in freely convertible currency, the post-Soviet countries found themselves unable to pay. The bilateral relations in the gas sector are based on a cooperation agreement in gas industry for a period of twenty-five years signed by Russia and Turkmenistan in 2003. Following the agreement, Gazpromexport LLC and Turkmenneftegaz State Trading Corporation entered into a longterm contract on the sale of Turkmen gas. The annual volume of gas supplies in the Central Asia–Center system was supposed to amount to 70–80 billion cubic meters. In 2007 an agreement on construction of the Pre-Caspian gas pipeline was signed by the governments of Russia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan, and in June 2008 the basic principles for the project’s implementation were developed and the modernization of the Central Asia–Center system was agreed upon. It was planned to commence construction of the Pre-Caspian gas pipeline, for exporting gas from Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan to Russia, in 2009, with participation of Gazprom PJSC, KazMunayGas NC, and Turkmengaz NHC. The total length of the pipeline was to be 1,700 kilometers, including 500 kilometers running in the territory of Turkmenistan and 1,200 kilometers in the territory of Kazakhstan. The capacity of the pipeline was to be 40 billion cubic meters of gas per year; 30 billion cubic meters of that amount were to be supplied by Turkmenistan. The project was put on hold due to the reduction in purchases of Turkmen gas by Gazprom PJSC.



In February 2010, the parties The 773-kilometer East-West gas reached an agreement on the synpipeline connects major deposits chronization of the projects to in the east of Turkmenistan with be implemented that focus on the its western regions. The pipeline’s Pre-Caspian gas pipeline and the capacity amounted to 30 billion East-West trunking gas pipeline cubic meters of gas per year; it was commissioned in December construction. 2015. Gradually, Russia reduced purchases of Turkmen gas by cutting them from the initial maximum of 50 billion cubic meters per year; the gas conflict of 2009 played a special role in this process. On April 9, 2009, there was an explosion on the Turkmen section of the Central Asia–Center pipeline (CAC-4). After the incident, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan declared that the Russian company Gazprom had unilaterally violated the rules and regulations of natural gas purchase, and stated that a sharp reduction in the volume of gas was the cause for explosion. Gazprom representatives, however, claimed they had notified Turkmenistan about the upcoming reduction in purchases of gas due to the reduction in gas demand demonstrated by European consumers and the Ukraine. The Russian concern refused to increase the volume of purchases, expecting that the Turkmen party would either reduce the price or agree to cut supply volume. However, Ashgabat stood its ground and rejected all proposals of the Russian party, following which the supplies of Turkmen gas were put on hold for almost a year and resumed only on January 9, 2010.

Since 2010, purchases of Turkmen gas by Russia have decreased to 10–11 billion cubic meters per year, and in January 2016, Gazprom PJSC, spurred by the price disagreements, broke the contract with Turkmengaz and stopped purchasing Turkmen gas it had been reexporting to European markets. Trans-Afghan, Trans-Caspian, and Turkmen-Iranian Gas Pipelines

The termination of Turkmen gas exports to Europe in 1993 forced Turkmenistan to seek alternative markets to diversify its energy supplies (Figure 10.1). The first project was the construction of a low-capacity line of the Korpeje-Kordkuy pipeline in the west of the country.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Figure 10.1 Routes for Transporting Gas from Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan-China Line D 25 billion cubic meters

Turkmenistan-China Lines A, B, C 55 billion cubic meters

The gas pipeline linking the Korpeje gas field in Turkmenistan and the Iranian city of Kordkuy was opened in December 1997; the pipeline’s length is 197 kilometers (132 kilometers in the territory of Turkmenistan). The pipeline’s capacity is 8 billion cubic meters of gas per year. The gas is supplied to the northern provinces of Iran according to the contract made between the Turkmengaz state concern and the Iranian Gas company.

This line, however, was only of local importance, given the fact that Iran itself belongs to natural gas producers and tried selling its gas on the same international markets that Turkmenistan did, and has a very limited capacity for expansion. Another pipeline to Iran was built three years later.


Turkmenistan conducted negotiations on expanding the geography of gas exports with Afghanistan, Pakistan (the Trans-Afghan gas pipeline), and China. An attempt was made to implement the TransCaspian pipeline project, presupposing the pipeline would run over the sea bottom, through Azerbaijan and Georgia, to Turkey.


In January 2010, the DauletabadSarakhs-Khangiran gas pipeline was opened. The length of the Turkmen section is 30.5 kilometers, from the Dauletabad field to Salir Yap on the Iranian border. Its capacity is 12.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

Turkmenistan and the European Union (EU) signed a memorandum of understanding on energy cooperation in Ashgabat on May 26, 2008. On January 15, 2011, the president of Turkmenistan and the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, met in Ashgabat to discuss the construction project of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline as the Nabucco pipeline extension; they also agreed upon establishing a relevant working group. The first ministerial talks of the delegations from Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and the EU were held in Frankfurt on March 9, 2011. Further negotiations were held a number of times, and the last of them took place in Ashgabat on September 3, 2012. On June 28, 2013, the Nabucco project was closed.

Despite the support of Turkmenistan’s initiatives by the United States and the EU, the tense situation in the Caucasus and the Caspian–Central Asian region, as well as by the contradictions between the potential project participants, caused problems. In particular, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan have a dispute about the ownership of the rich Serdar/Kapaz oil and gas field, located in the Caspian Sea. Despite the fact that Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan signed an agreement on support of the Trans-Afghan pipeline project in May 2002, the pipeline has not yet overcome all the difficulties associated with finding investors willing to face the political risks of the Afghan transit. The Trans-Afghan pipeline, or the TAPI pipeline (TurkmenistanAfghanistan-Pakistan-India), is a large-scale project aiming to secure the delivery of Turkmenistan’s natural gas to Pakistan and India through Afghanistan. The pipeline’s total length is to be 1,800 kilometers (214 kilometers in the territory of Turkmenistan, 775 kilometers in the territory of Afghanistan, and 826 kilometers in the territory of Pakistan). The pipeline’s planned capacity is 33 billion cubic meters of gas per year, and the estimated cost of the project amounts to $10 billion. The project is supported by the Asian Development Bank.


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Prospects for the project’s implementation are directly related to the political situation in Afghanistan. The first attempts to implement the project were undertaken in 1995 and involved the participation of US company Unocal. To guarantee transit through the territory of Afghanistan, the US party conducted negotiations with the Taliban, which were discontinued after the events of September 11, 2001. After 2002, the negotiations on the consortium’s establishment continued. At the twenty-second meeting of the steering committee for the TAPI Gas Pipeline Project on August 6, 2015, the specialized ministers of the four countries, as well as the representatives of the Asian Development Bank, chose Turkmengaz SC the leader of the consortium. The ceremony of laying the pipeline was held in the town of Mary on December 13, 2015. It was attended by Turkmenistan’s president Berdimuhamedow, Afghanistan’s president Hashmat Ghani Ahmadzai, Pakistan’s prime mnister Nawaz Sharif, and India’s vice pPresident Mohammad Ansari. Turkmenistan is building the site at its own expense and expects to complete the construction by the end of 2018. The Chinese direction of Turkmenistan’s gas diplomacy proved to be the most promising: in April 2006, during his visit to Beijing, Niyazov signed an agreement on the construction of a Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline with an annual export of 30 billion cubic meters of gas to China starting from 2009. Currently, the supply of Turkmen gas to China is carried out via three gas lines (A, B, and C) with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year. With the start of the fourth line (D), the capacity will increase to 80 billion cubic meters per year. The total length of the pipeline is over 9,000 kilometers, of which 490 kilometers are in the territory of Uzbekistan, 1,300 kilometers are in the territory of Kazakhstan, and over 7,000 kilometers are in the territory of China, running to the major industrial centers on the east coast (Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong). The construction of the Trans-Asian (also named the Central Asia–China) gas pipeline along the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-KazakhstanChina route began in July 2008. Line A was commissioned in December 2009, Line B in October 2010, and Line C in June 2014. China spent about $10 billion on the implementation of these projects. About $8 billion of this amount was given to Turkmenistan as loans. The main supplier of the raw material for the first three lines is the Bagtyyarlyk block, which is being explored by Turkmengaz and the China National Petroleum Corporation under a production-sharing agreement. China also The Trans-Asian Gas Pipeline (Central Asia–China)



imports gas from Uzbekistan (10 billion cubic meters) and Kazakhstan (5 billion cubic meters); the 1,500-kilometer Beineu-Bozoi-Shymkent gas pipeline was built by the latter by November 2015 to ensure these supplies (see Figure 10.1). A coordination committee was established to oversee the operation of the main gas pipeline; among the committee’s members are representatives of the Turkmengaz state concern, Uztransgaz, the Asia Trans Gas UzbekChinese Joint Venture, the Asian Gas Pipeline Kazakh-Chinese Company, the CNPC International (Turkmenistan), and the Beijing Coordination Center. The fifteenth meeting of the coordination committee took place in Tashkent in September 2016. The declared construction of the fourth line of this gas pipeline is an important point for understanding China’s policy in Central Asia. It would seem that the project is illogical: the first three lines run parallel to each other, and the fourth one runs (rather inconveniently) through the Osh region (Kyrgyzstan), which has mountainous terrain and is not always stable from a political point of view. The fourth line of the Central Asia–China pipeline will run a route through Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and China, and will supply gas from the Galkynysh gas field. The agreement on this construction was signed by the presidents of Turkmenistan and China in September 2013. The construction’s completion was scheduled for 2017.

The extra 225 kilometers of pipeline for the fourth line might seem China’s economic mistake, as this will require, in addition to huge construction costs, new investments in the energy sector of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, as well as payment for transit services provided by these countries. However, a closer analysis of Beijing’s motives reveals that China has far-reaching political goals: Central Asia is becoming not only a supplier of resources to China, but also a strategic support area. From the opening of the first line of the Central Asia–China pipeline until August 2015, the line transported over 125 billion cubic meters of gas. Turkmenistan is becoming the leading supplier of gas to China (Figure 10.2). In 2014, Turkmen gas amounted to 43.7 percent of total exports and 13.6 percent of natural gas consumption in China, despite the fact that about 54 percent of gas imports came by the pipeline, and the rest in the form of liquefied natural gas. While liquefied natural gas is delivered to China from eighteen countries, the pipeline gas comes from only four states (which soon will be joined by the Russian Federation after completion of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline).


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

Figure 10.2 Geographic Structure of Natural Gas Supplies to China via Pipelines (billion cubic meters)

!"#"$%&'"()* !"#"$%&'"()* +,-* + -*

. .#/0$1&'"()* #/0$1&'"()* 2,-* 2 -* 34"(5"6)*7* (5"6)*7*

8896$50(1&'"()* 96$50(1&'"()* 2:,:* 2:, :*

Source: BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2015.

Accession to the World Trade Organization and Membership in International Economic Organizations

Current trends in the global economy made Ashgabat face the necessity of more active integration into the system of international economic relations. In this connection, a special working group dealing with the issue of accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) was established on January 24, 2013, by decree of the president of Turkmenistan. The experts from this group study the WTO’s rules and agreements, and examine the effects that the potential accession to the organization would have on various sectors of national economy. They conduct active international consultations with representatives of the WTO, and with specialized organizations of the UN and the EU. Turkmenistan takes part in scientific-practical seminars. However, no formal application to start negotiations with the WTO has been filed by Turkmenistan, and the formal process of joining the organization has not yet begun. Turkmenistan’s accession to the WTO is actually prompted by the need to introduce major structural economic reforms to its economy. Currently, the fields of gas production and hydrocarbon sales in Turkmenistan are characterized by the dominance of state-owned enterprises. The WTO does not prohibit the operation of such enterprises; however, the country has to demonstrate that the state-owned sector in the national economy does not dominate according to administrative acts, and that the activities of state enterprises are governed purely by commercial reasons. As a rule, the



process of integration of national economies into the world economic system and leading international economic organizations, such as the WTO, is associated with large-scale privatization programs, which Turkmenistan is not planning to introduce in the near future. In addition, one of the most important issues in case of Turkmenistan’s accession to the WTO will be the access to the national market of services. Turkmenistan cooperates with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Asian Development Bank, and other major international financial institutions. Through the World Bank Group, cooperation is narrowed primarily to the receipt of analytical and advisory services. Turkmenistan received three loans from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development: $24 million in 2001, for the purposes of urban transport development; $25 million in 2003, for the development of institutions and for technical assistance; and $30 million in 2004, for the development of water supply system. IMF lending is not being carried out. 1. The following section was contributed by Dmitry Alexandrovich Belashchenko. 2. Turkmenistan: Territory, Number of Population, Brief Natural and Geographical Characteristics, January 1, 2006, .htm. 3. Population, Development and the Environment 2013, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, July 1, 2013, /population/publications/development/pde-wallchart-2013.shtml. 4. The following section was contributed by Dmitry Alexandrovich Belashchenko, Maria Yurievna Borodina, and Igor Valeryevich Ryzhov. 5. “Constitution of Turkmenistan,” Adopted in 1992, Amended as of 2016, 6. UN General Assembly Resolution 50/80, Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan, December 12, 1995, /761/25/PDF/N9676125.pdf?OpenElement. 7. “Constitutional Law of Turkmenistan ‘On Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan,’” -neitralitete-turkmenistanapdf.pdf. 8. “Foreign Policy Concept of Turkmenistan as a Neutral State,” http://www 9 .“Military Doctrine of Independent and Permanently Neutral Turkmenistan,” isimogo-postojano-neitralnogo-turkmenistana-polnyi-tekst.html. 10. “Constitution of Turkmenistan,” Adopted in 1992, Amended as of 2016, 11. “The Law of Turkmenistan ‘On the State Security Council of Turkmenistan,’” October 23, 2008,



Foreign Policies of the CIS States

12. “Report on the Meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan,” February 22, 2013, 13. The following section was contributed by Dmitry Alexandrovich Belashchenko, Maria Yurievna Borodina, and Igor Valeryevich Ryzhov. 14. International Information Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, “New Frontiers of Cooperation for Peace and Development,” January 8, 2013, 15. G. Berdimuhamedow, address to the international conference “Neutrality and Preventive Diplomacy: Foundation for Peace and Security,” December 11, 2012, . 16. “Xi Jinping: Turkmenistan and China Are the Largest Partners in the Gas Sector,” Neftegaz.Ru, May 13, 2014, 17. The following section was contributed by Denis Andreevich Degterev. 18. International Information Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, “New Frontiers of Cooperation for Peace and Development,” January 8, 2013, 19. “Address by the President of Turkmenistan at the 64th Session of the UN General Assembly,” September 23, 2009, /pdf/TM_ru.pdf. Alekseeva, T. A., and A. A. Kazantsev. Foreign Policy Process: A Comparative Analysis. Moscow: Aspect, 2012. Babadzhanov, A. Y. Military and Political Cooperation of the Post-Soviet States: The Issue of Compatibility of National Approaches. Moscow: Aspect, 2014. Berdimuhamedow, G. M. State Regulation of Socio-Economic Development of Turkmenistan. Vol. 1. Ashgabat: Turkmen State Publishing Service, 2010. Bogaturov, A. D. International Relations in Central Asia: Events and Documents. Moscow: Aspect, 2014. Borisova, E. A. Water and Energy Resources of the “Expanded” Central Asia: Water Shortage and Means to Overcome It. Moscow: Lenand, 2015. Niyazov, S. A. Rukhnama. Ashgabat: Turkmen State Publishing Service, 2006. Odekov, R. V. The World of Turkmen People. Moscow: Science, 2010. Polayeva, G. B. Turkmenistan in the System of Global Economic Relations. Moscow: Publishing Center of I. M. Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas, 2009. The Policy of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow on the New Revival of the Country: Celebrating the 16th Anniversary of Turkmenistan’s Independence. Ashgabat: Main Archive Department under the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan, Archive Fund, 2009. Zvyagelskaya, I. D. Formation of Central Asian States. Political Processes. Moscow: Aspect, 2009.

Suggested Readings

11 Ukraine

Foreign Policy Determinants Ukraine is a state in Eastern Europe, the successor of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and one of the founding members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Ukraine has a lengthy land border (5,700 kilometers) and access to the Black Sea and Azov Sea. The border with Russia is nearly 2,000 kilometers long. The country is situated at a meeting point of Europe and Eurasia, at the crossroads of the shortest routes from the inner regions of the Eurasian continent to Central and Western Europe, as well as from the Baltic region to the Black Sea area. Since time immemorial, that geographical situation is the reason why the territory of today’s Ukraine has been used as the connecting link between peoples and civilizations of various parts of the Old World. At the same time, because of that situation, Ukraine was a battlefield of armed clashes between various nations of Europe and Eurasia over centuries. And also because of that location, Ukraine’s historical regions had been parts of different states—the Russian State, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Austria-Hungary, Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union. Historical and geopolitical controversies between Ukraine and some neighboring East European countries (foremost Romania, Hungary, and Poland) have had an impact on cooperation prospects and the regional situation of the Ukrainian state. Territorial and Geographic Potential

This chapter was contributed by Maximilian Albertovich Shepelev. 369


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

At first, Ukrainian-Romanian animosities were the ones that revealed themselves most poignantly in the country’s contemporary history, in particular when state borders were delineated and delimitated. The subject of territorial appurtenance of North Bukovina and South Bessarabia, annexed to Ukraine in 1940, has been a hot topic in Romanian political discourse. Regarding the Snake Island shelf, Ukraine was forced to side in an international judicial dispute with Romania, which Ukraine lost. The territorial aspect of Ukrainian-Romanian relations involved complicated drafting and signing of a bilateral political treaty between the two countries. The Ukrainian factor also remains a thorny and controversial issue in the foreign policy of Poland, which on the one hand positions itself as Ukraine’s chief advocate in Europe, and on the other is a growing concern because of a dramatic rise of Ukrainian nationalism (which historically was hostile toward Poland), and its radicalization and ingress into public authorities. A similar concern felt by Hungary is connected with worries about the condition of the Hungarian ethnic minority who live in a community in Zakarpattia, on the lands adjoining Hungary. As a legacy from the Soviet Union, today’s Ukraine inherited a powerful industrial and agrarian economic potential. However, disruption of former economic ties, and economic structural reforms, have led to a significant weakening of the country’s economic position. Natural Resources and Economic Potential

In the Soviet period, four multisector industrial districts were built in Ukraine: Donetsk, Dnieper, Carpathian, and Bug. The biggest of them, the Donetsk industrial area, specializes in coal mining, power generation, metals, machine-building, and chemical industry. In the Dnieper district, the electric power sector, chemical industry, machine-building, and metals were well developed. The Carpathian district stands out by its oil and gas sector, forestry, machine-building, and chemical industry, and the Bug region is famous for its coal mining, chemical, and power generation enterprises.

Less than a third of the economy’s fuel and energy needs can be satisfied by the country’s own resource. Four nuclear power plants (Zaporizhia, Rivne, South Ukraine, Khmelnytskyi) generate more than a half of the country’s electric power. Ukraine’s industries are very energy-intensive. The iron and steel industry accounts for a quarter of total industrial output. Major metallurgic plants are Kryvorizhstal (Kryvyi Rih), Azovstal (Mariupol), Zaporizhstal (Zaporizhia), and Dnieper Metallurgical Combine (Kamianske, formerly Dniprodzerzhynsk).



Over the past quarter century, Ukraine’s importance in global economy has been determined to a large extent by its position as a transit country for Russian gas exported to Europe. While in 1998 Ukraine controlled 95 percent of Russian gas transits to Europe, in 2012 that figure dropped to 56 percent, and in 2013 to 52 percent. In 2014, transits declined to 43 percent (62.2 billion cubic meters). In June 2015, Gazprom chief executive officer Alexei Miller warned European partners that as soon as the current contract on gas transits via Ukraine expires in 2019, those transits could be terminated. Ukraine is an important player in the global armament market. UkrOboronProm (Ukrainian Defense Industry), an arms concern set up in 2011 by a decree of President Victor Yanukovych, merged seven statecontrolled enterprises and holding companies producing, servicing, and selling armaments and military equipment, including Ukrspecexport, Ukroboronservice, and Ukrinmash. State-controlled company Ukrspecexport is involved in military and technical cooperation with 114 countries worldwide. In 2014, Ukraine’s gross domestic product (GDP) was $177 billion (fifty-fifth largest in the world). In 2014, in terms of gross national product (GNP) per capita ($8,970), Ukraine was ranked 105th worldwide. The situation is similar with the Human Development Index, published annually by the UN, on which Ukraine was ranked 83rd among 187 countries in 2013. Ukraine’s external national debt amounted to 83.3 percent of GDP between 2005 and 2012. It was $3.6 billion in 1994, $26.5 billion in 2013, and $33.9 billion as of May 31, 2015. In the twentieth century, Ukraine was generally seeing growth of its population, which continued until 1993, when population reached its high, 52.2 million people; since then, the country has been seeing a population decline. In late 2001, a national Ukrainian census recorded about 48.5 million residents, and in 2014 Ukraine’s State Statistics Service counted 43.1 million people. Rising emigration (permanent transfer to another country) and labor migration of varied lengths (from seasonal to long-term) are important factors responsible for the decline of Ukraine’s population. For instance, according to data of Ukraine’s State Statistics Service, the flow of migrants spiked by 157 percent in 2013 versus 2012. The main destinations of migration flows were Russia and European countries, as well as North America, albeit to a lesser extent. According to data of Ukraine’s State Statistics Service, about one half of migrant workers from Ukraine were employed in Russia in 2008, and according to a similar study completed in 2012, 43.2 percent of them Demographic Potential


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

worked in Russia. While in 2000 Ukraine’s nationals accounted for 30 percent of all expatriates employed in Russia, in 2005 they accounted only for 20 percent, and in 2010 for 10 percent. According to the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation, 2.5 million Ukrainian citizens entered Russia after April 1, 2014, and were still staying in its territory as of March 31, 2015. The second most important emigration destination in terms of numbers are countries of the European Union (EU), foremost Poland (8 percent in 2008, 14.3 percent in 2012). In total, according to data of Eurostat, nearly 635,000 citizens of Ukraine resided legally in EU countries in 2013. The Ukrainian community is the fifth largest in the EU, after those of natives from Turkey, Morocco, China, and India. The figure is constantly rising. While Polish employers reported to local authorities hiring 134,000 seasonal Ukrainian workers (who work less than six months a year) in 2013, their number increased to 359,000—almost tripled—in 2014. The percentage of highly qualified human resources is growing in the structure of Ukrainian emigration. In 1991, three joint and two tank armies, an army corps, four air armies, a separate air defense army, a missile army, and the bulk of the Black Sea Fleet were stationed in Ukraine’s territory. In total, they comprised up to 900,000 military personnel across different military units, as well as about 6,500 tanks, 7,000 armored vehicles, 1,500 aircraft, 350 ships, 1,272 nuclear warheads on intercontinental ballistic missiles, and 2,500 units of tactical nuclear weapons. From 1992 to 1996, manpower was slashed by 48 percent, to 370,000 people, and according to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, conventional weapons were also cut back. In early 2005, Ukraine’s armed forces were converted to a three-type structure, which includes landbased troops, a navy, and an air force. Their total manpower is now equal to 188,000 people. On October 24, 1991, the Verkhovna Rada (national parliament) passed a resolution on Ukraine’s nuclear-free status, and on January 14, 1992, a trilateral agreement was signed by Russia, the United States, and Ukraine. Under that agreement, all nuclear warheads were to be dismantled and removed to Russia, with strategic bombers and missile-launching silos to be destroyed on US funds. By March 1992, 57 percent of tactical nuclear weapons had been removed from Ukraine’s territory to Russia. However, because of a growing tension in the relations between the two countries, President Leonid Kravchuk said on March 12, 1992, that weapon removal would be suspended. As a result of further negotiations, in exchange for its Military and Political Potential



denuclearization, Ukraine received security guarantees from five nuclear powers that were also permanent members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council; those guarantees were given in December 1994 at the Budapest summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Ukraine still has a network of enterprises that can revive and upgrade key weaponry and military equipment. Providing armed forces with minimally required quantities of weapons through their retrofit and upgrade, as well as purchase of new types of armaments, foremost from Ukrainian manufacturers, were declared a short- and midterm priority. The country’s authorities also rely on more intensive cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and some of the alliance’s member states, hoping to obtain aid in order to upgrade the nation’s armed forces. In September 2014, NATO at its Wales summit decided to set up five NATO trust funds to carry out military reform in accordance with the alliance’s criteria in the following areas: upgrade of means of communications and automation; retraining and social adaptation of military personnel; physical rehabilitation of wounded servicepeople; reforming of the logistics and standardization systems; and cybersecurity. Since 1992, Ukraine has participated in multiple international peacekeeping operations. Nineteen military formations (brigades, battalions, companies, squadrons, detachments) have been dispatched overseas. Nearly 30,000 people have been engaged in peacekeeping missions. Ukraine’s armed forces took part in NATO’s naval operations Ocean Shield and Active Endeavor. At present, there is a national contingent (PolishUkrainian Peace Force Battalion) as part of Kosovo Force (KFOR), a national contingent participating in operations of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and the 56th Separate Helicopter Unit of the UN mission in Liberia that take part in peacekeeping missions and forces.

For some time lately, manpower and machinery in national contingents and personnel taking part in peacekeeping operations abroad have been downsized. The Role of the Individual in Carrying Out Foreign Policy Strategy

Since the first days of independence, Ukraine’s constitutional system, in all its modifications, stipulated that foreign policy making is foremost the prerogative of the head of state. By virtue of that principle, the personality of the head of state determined specificities of Ukraine’s foreign policy to a large extent. It is no wonder that the country’s president always took the


Foreign Policies of the CIS States

floor in a debate during the opening of a new session of the UN General Assembly (see Appendix 10). Ukraine’s first president, Leonid Kravchuk, won the direct election on December 1, 1991, with 61.6 percent of votes; his major electoral support came from voters in the central, eastern, and southern parts of the country. However, when he came to power, he was pursuing a policy focused on voters of western and, partially, central Ukraine. In the second round of the presidential elections, in July 1994, Leonid Kravchuk lost to Leonid Kuchma, who was considered a pro-Russian candidate and relied mainly on voters of Ukraine’s east, south, and, partially, center; he won the election with 52 percent of votes. As early as in the first years of Leonid Kuchma’s presidency, a multifaceted line took roots in Ukraine’s foreign policy; it meant the country intended to drift toward the West, without, however, breaking with Russia once and for all. By the end of his first term in office, Leonid Kuchma had largely lost support of the backbone constituency that had voted for him in 1994. In that situation, the scenario of a moderately pro-Western president was played out in the 1999 election, where Kuchma was pitted against Ukraine’s Communist Party leader, Petro Symonenko, who was painted to represent and embody the communist threat willing to take revenge. Thanks to that maneuver, Kuchma managed to get reelected president, this time owing to voters in those regions who had cast their votes against him five years before. The crisis that had begun in relations with Western partners in 2001 pushed Leonid Kuchma to participate in the Russia-initiated project the Common Economic Space; the intention to create that space had been announced in February 2003. However, relations with Russia also aggravated in the fall of 2003, in connection with disp