Thursday, March 31, 2016

Everybody Wants to Be in Central Asia

The independence of Central Asian Republics (CAR) after the Soviet disintegration, the emergence of terrorist outfits like al-Queda and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the region, all are matters of pressing concern for the US. Russia would not like to leave its traditional sphere of influence unwatched. Any happening in Central Asia may have its serious repercussions in Russia as well as for the US. This is more so in an age of globalisation of economy and terror, when political boundaries and geographical distances are not difficult to transcend and cover.

Thus, it is in the interest of both the powers to keep Central Asia stable. This common concern on part of both the powers is reflected by a willingness to harmonize their interests in the region. Besides their common interests, both the powers are competing for the vast natural resources of the region.

The geo-strategic importance of Central Asia is heightened by the geo-economic potentialities it has to offer. The Central Asian states are rich in economic and energy resources. Oil reserves of the Caspian region are estimated as high as 200 billion barrels. The region has more than 6% of world's proven oil reserves and almost 46% of its gas reserves. The energy and other natural resources of Central Asia have attracted major regional and global players. The oil and gas pipelines have added new dimensions in the regional politics of Central Asia.

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