Central and South Asia // Analysis

10 february 2017

Post-Soviet Turkmenistan: A Little-Known Present and an Uncertain Future

Andrey Kazantsev Doctor of Political Science, Director of the Analytical Centre of Institute of International Studies, MGIMO University


October 27, 2016 marked the 25th anniversary of Turkmenistan’s declaration of independence. During that time, the country experienced significant socioeconomic change, as well as changes in its domestic and foreign policies. One of the most pressing problems today is the threat of religious extremism spreading through Turkmenistan, which could seriously affect security both within the country and in the Central Asian region as a whole.

16 november 2016

Russia–India Strategic Partnership: Have We Hit a Plateau?

Vasily Shikin Postgraduate Student, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia


India has been paying special attention to its relations with the West ever since the current government under the leadership of Narendra Modi came to power. Russia is no longer a major priority in India’s foreign policy objectives. It would seem that cooperation between Moscow and New Delhi has lost its former dynamism and, in terms of size and import, is far from the declared “Strategic Partnership.”

04 october 2016

Kashmir Tests Russia–India Friendship

Vasily Shikin Postgraduate Student, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia


Despite India’s protests, Russia will participate in the first joint Russia–Pakistan military exercise in close proximity to the disputed Kashmir, where the confrontation between New Delhi and Islamabad has again escalated into armed confrontation in recent weeks. How do New Delhi and Islamabad perceive Moscow’s actions? Does a rapprochement between Russia and Pakistan threaten the time-tested Moscow–New Delhi partnership?

19 september 2016

The Islamic State in Afghanistan: a Real Threat to the Region?

Grigory Lukyanov Deputy Head of Department of World and Russian History, Higher School of Economics


In January 2015, representatives of the largest for now Islamic regional military-political union in South and Central Asia and the main ally of al-Qaeda in the region, namely the Taliban movement, took their long-awaited oath and pledged loyalty to the Islamic State. A few months of self-proclaimed Caliph’s emissaries’ hard work and negotiations with the Taliban leaders were crowned with success and creation of a new IS stronghold. What are the motives, tools and conditions of IS involvement in processes on the territory of Afghanistan?

05 september 2016

100 Postulates on Russia–India Relations

Igor Denisov Senior Research Fellow of the Institute for International Studies at MGIMO-University

Oleg Popadyuk PhD in Law, MGIMO University


The Working Paper was prepared by the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) as part of the “Russia– India: Toward a New Bilateral Agenda” project. The purpose of the Paper is to identify the prospects and offer recommendations for developing Russia–India relations. The publication takes the form of postulates that deal with the full spectrum of relations between the two countries and their overlapping interests in regional and global politics.

Discussion: 1


16 august 2016

Prospects for Russian-Chinese Cooperation in Central Asia

Irina Zviagelskaya Doctor of History, Professor of the Oriental Studies Department of the MGIMO University

Elena Kuzmina PhD in Political Science, head of the post-Soviet countries’ economic development section at the Institute of Economics, RAS

Andrey Kazantsev Doctor of Political Science, Director of the Analytical Centre of Institute of International Studies, MGIMO University

Sergey Luzyanin Professor, Director of RAS Institute for Far Eastern Studies, RIAC member


The Working Paper covers the economic interests and presence of Russia and China in the region, and compares their resources for ensuring security. Special attention is paid to the possible cooperation between the two powers in tying together the EEU and the SREB. The authors suggest several promising formats and areas which are in the best interests of both Russia and China, and, first and foremost, in the best interests of the Central Asian states themselves.

19 july 2016

The TAPI project: Turkmenistan’s bet in pipeline geopolitics

Maria Chepurina RIAC Expert

Mathieu Lemoine Independent Expert


Slowly but surely, steps are being taken to actually start the construction of the TAPI pipeline. But what exactly is the motivation of the four countries (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India) to take part in this project, and what are the main challenges they are facing? Who is supporting the project and what factors are pushing neutral and closed Turkmenistan to reach outside of its borders? Finally, what are the project’s current prospects?

04 july 2016

Talatbek Masadykov: The Negative Processes in Afghanistan Could Destabilize Central Asia


On June 23, 2016, RIAC held a seminar on fighting terrorism in Central Asia and Afghanistan. Talatbek Masadykov, former political affairs officer at the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, spoke to RIAC website editors about solving the Afghanistan problem, the validity of criticism of the Eurasian Economic Union and the multi-faceted approach to working on international issues.

29 june 2016

The New Impetus for Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

Mikhail Konarovsky Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation. Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of International Research, MGIMO University, RIAC member.


The meeting of the heads of states of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states has been gaining momentum in recent years as a regional – and indeed global – discussion platform. This is testament to the growing potential and credibility of the organization. In the rapidly changing global environment, and amidst new challenges and threats, it is imperative that the SCO develop a coordinated position on the key issues of security and international development, not only so that it can determine its own activities going forward, but also in the context of the entire Eurasian space.

21 june 2016

Russia and Afghanistan – We Should Be More than Military Partners


Russia is among few prominent players in the Central Asia due to the creation of EEU. However, not all countries in the region are involved in integrational processes. Afghanistan remains one of the key counties with solid capacity for regional development but the country has been struggling with many internal and external difficulties, mainly security threats, for decades now. This prevents Afghanistan from participating in many regional initiatives. On June, 16, 2016 RIAC hosted a meeting with Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai, who shared his views on the Afghanistan’s future and stressed that Russia should be more involved in regional development.

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