Central Asia: A New Great Game?
The Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) arranged a seminar about external powers and influences in Central Asia.
In 2015, the strategic region of Central Asia, which links Asia and Europe together, has seen increased geopolitical competition for influence. Russia has launched its Eurasian Economic Union with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan joining as members. Meanwhile China is steadily expanding its economic influence and opening up for a new trade Silk Road. In its turn, the EU, under Latvia’s chairmanship, is developing a new Central Asia strategy. The Islamic influence in the region has also led to an increasing number of young citizens travelling to Syria and joining the Islamic State. Which external powers and influences are gaining the upper hand in the region? How are the Central Asian countries able to take advantage of the competition in the region? What future trends are likely to emerge?
Sintija Šmite, Adviser on Central Asia for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia.
Johan Engvall, Research Fellow, Swedish Institute of International Affairs and the Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP).
Marléne Laruelle, Research Professor and Director of the Central Asia Program, George Washington University.
Noah Tucker, Associated researcher with the Central Asia Program, George Washington University and Managing Editor of Registan.net.
Lena Jonson, Head of the Russia Program, Swedish Institute of International Affairs.