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Why is Russia worried about the “North African syndrome” in Central Asia

Russian law-makers came up with an idea of recommending Central Asian countries not to wait until the situation goes under the control like in the Middle Eastern countries and be more open to democratic changes, various information agencies reported after a meeting closed to the public on April 13, 2011.

Russian Federation’s Duma’s (Parliament) committee on CIS affairs and compatriot relations has held the parliamentary hearing dedicated to the Central Asian region: strategic partnership and security problems. As reported by RBC, the participants have urged the countries in the region to enact democratic reforms and prevent the “North African syndrome,” Ferghana information agency reports.

At the same time “Parlamentskaya gazeta” informed that even though the whole hearing has been closed to the public, at least the first three statements have been made in presence of media.

“Russians are not indifferent as to the destiny of the people in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in the light of historic development and co-existence with the people of Russia, which has to be the key factor in the country’s strategy in respect to these states.”

Deputy chair of Duma Nadezhda Gerasimova

According to Fergana, the chairman of the Duma’s committee for CIS affairs and compatriot relations Alexei Ostrovskiy, while discussing the likelihood of emulation of the “North African scenario” in Central Asia, has assessed the situation in the region as “extremely alarming”. He believes that countries of the Central Asia, similarly to the states in the Northern Africa, have been facing problems of growing population, poverty and tribal conflicts. He then pointed out that the time for reforms “is running out”.

Why is it that important to Russia these days, considering that the hearing has bee attended by members of the parliament, members of the Council of Federation, representatives of the Presidential Administration, Security Council, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Federal Migration Service, Federal Drug Control Agency? Probably the right time to show Central Asian regimes that they are not indifferent and quiet anymore has come, and in case if anything happens in the region they will be “right there acting according to the situation through their own interests’ prism.”

What if Russia is fed up by some of the Central Asian dictator’s cheeky behavior? Imagine Medvedev on some leading RUssian channel announcing something like: “We begin our mission of forcing (any)stan to peace” like he did in 2008 while attacking Georgia.

Bek, 14.04.2011

I think that PMs went nuts. Whom are they teaching? Alike themselves, corrupted and afraid of Putin?

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