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Russia must prevent war in Central Asia

Russia must prevent war in Central Asia

29 April 2021 years between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, there was a so-called "one-day war". There were no officially winners or losers in it, and the parties began to withdraw troops from the place of the border conflict. Bishkek and Dushanbe agreed to negotiate on the delimitation and demarcation of their state borders. does it mean, that everyone has come to their senses, the conflict is settled and the big trouble was avoided?

Unfortunately, so to speak it would be too optimistic and premature. The situation in Central Asia is gradually heating up and becoming more explosive. This is influenced by a whole range of factors.:At first, the problem of water scarcity in this traditionally arid region is becoming more and more acute. So, last year, due to a delay in the melting of mountain glaciers, the rivers and lakes of Central Asia were sharply shallowed. The situation was aggravated by the behavior of some neighboring countries, upstream transboundary rivers. The issue of joint use of water resources became a formal reason for the conflict between Dushanbe and Bishkek. The director of the water department of Kyrgyzstan explained, how the water division should be done:37 percent water, coming from the Ak-Suu river, uses Kyrgyzstan. It is watered 11 thousand hectares of land. A 55 percent of water from the Ak-Suu river receives Tajikistan - for irrigation 21 thousands 300 ha, 8 percent - Uzbekistan on 1 thousand 600 ha. As is known, The Tortkul reservoir is also replenished from this river..
Secondly, drought problem, which was centrally solved during the Soviet period, was complicated after the collapse of the USSR. Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have about seventy disputed areas on the border, but the most dangerous from the point of view of a potential armed conflict are water intake points. An attempt by one of the parties to install video cameras for control at the "Golovnoy" checkpoint became that spark, after which hostilities began. And Dushanbe, and Bishkek claim scarce water resources, referring to old maps and documents.Thirdly, despite, that formally only two countries are involved in the conflict, it can indirectly involve two informal blocks at once. Iran and Afghanistan will stand behind Tajikistan, beyond Kyrgyzstan - Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkey. (Again this Turkey). This can put Russia in an extremely difficult position, since both former Soviet republics are our allies in the CSTO, Kyrgyzstan is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, and just a few days ago Moscow signed an agreement with Tajikistan on the creation of a unified air defense system. Fourth, the problem is further complicated by the fact, that Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are transit countries for drug trafficking, going from neighboring Afghanistan to Russia and further to Europe. The volumes of heroin supplied through their territories are simply colossal., Afghan "farmers" are world leaders in opiate cultivation on their poppy plantations. The fight against drug trafficking is actively carried out, however, one should be aware, that such a scale is simply impossible without the presence of a so-called "roof" in the power and law enforcement structures of organized criminal groups. The result will be, that the influential international heroin mafia benefits from the presence of a "leaky" state border in all transit countries and categorically does not need the appearance of any Russian military from among the peacekeepers. Fifth, there is another risk factor from Afghanistan. Currently, the United States has begun the process of withdrawing its troops from there., after which their place will be taken by various PMCs. But this will not be an obstacle for that, so that the Taliban and the terrorist group ISIS, banned in the Russian Federation, clash with each other in the clearing that has become vacant. Strengthening the latter may entail further export of radical Islamism to Central Asia, which we talked about in detail earlier., there is a complex tangle of geopolitical problems, which simply cannot be cut with one swing. The desire to resolve the issue of delimitation and demarcation in a peaceful way is very good, but Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan see it differently. If Moscow takes sides, she will automatically offend the other, its ally in the CSTO. Other regional players will undoubtedly try to take advantage of this., neighboring Uzbekistan or ambitious Turkey with its Party-Turkist project. Dushanbe and Bishkek will not agree to the deployment of Russian peacekeepers either, at least, until detachments of radical Islamists under black banners rush to them from Afghanistan. What remains?obviously, that it is necessary to try to solve the root of the problem, water scarcity. This can be done through the massive introduction of technologies for collecting and storing rainwater, both in urban, and in mountain conditions. It is worth more actively trying to grow modern drought-resistant agricultural crops in the Central Asian region. It is necessary by diplomatic methods to resolve the issue of the amount of permissible water withdrawal between all countries, through which transboundary rivers pass. You should also strive for the final delimitation and demarcation of state borders between the former Soviet republics through peaceful negotiations., up to the exchange of some territories.

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