Nursultan Nazarbayev’s initiatives on creating the Central Asian Union

The European Union, despite the political disagreements that have recently manifested itself, nevertheless offers a number of advantages, which are included in it to 20 European countries. The leader of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has for many years initiated the creation of such a union in Central Asia.

According to N.Nazarbayev, regional integration of the Central Asian states – Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, will allow to bring the economy of these countries to a new level, taking into account the mutual support of neighbors in the region.

It should be noted that in the post-Soviet period the states of the region are gradually moving towards some kind of integration, as N.Nazarbayev predicted. In the early 2000s, the Treaty on Eternal Friendship was signed between the three countries (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan). All regional states are members of the Turkic Council, the Turkic Parliamentary Assembly, and the International Organization of Turkic Culture, which also includes Turkey.

The main goal of TURKSOY is determined cooperation between the Turkic peoples for the preservation, development and transfer to future generations of common material and cultural monuments of these peoples.

The economic unification of Central Asia will allow solving many and important other issues, for example in the sphere of tourism, general security, to create a new single market and even currency. As part of integration initiatives, an interesting idea was also voiced about organizing our own Central Asian visa regime – something like “Schengen”, but still simpler.

According to experts, such an innovation, by the way, will make life easier in the first place for residents of the countries of the Central Asian Union (CAC), especially for businessmen who finally “untie their hands”. Tourists will get even more benefits, as they will have the opportunity to visit all the most interesting places of Central Asia at once without any extra expenses.

By analogy with the Customs Union, the duties on imported goods between the participating countries will decrease, which will improve and increase the trade turnover several times. For example, at the end of last year, the trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan amounted to about $ 2.5 billion, and between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan – $ 302 million. But the volume of trade in Tajikistan with the CIS countries, according to the latest data of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of the country, decreased by 5.1%. In the opinion of many experts, joining the Central Asian Union would clearly help to level the situation.

By the way, when creating a CAC, you can safely learn from an example, more precisely, from the mistakes of the European Union. Back in the 1990s, when the idea was first voiced by Nursultan Nazarbayev, it was perceived not in the best way based on the fact that in the same EU one country still occupies a leading, therefore, dominant position. Fears on this score were expressed by many experts with regard to Kazakhstan, since at that time it was precisely its economy that had overtaken the rest of the states in the region, attracting up to 80% of all investments in Central Asia.

Proponents of the creation of the CAC have so far noted a clear difference between the Central Asian countries and the European ones. These are values. Over the years, they have often changed in the EU depending on the policy pursued, which is unacceptable for the Asian-Turkic peoples. And the Central Asian Union itself was conceived by Nazarbayev as an association of fraternal republics with common ideals, culture, similar traditions and worldview. As is customary in Asia, this means mutual assistance and support in everything, joint problem-solving and compromise on sensitive issues.

Unfortunately, so far there is no special progress towards the creation of the CAC. One of the reasons may be the lack of documents on the delimitation of borders between a number of states where there are still controversial points.

But President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has repeatedly stressed that he is in favor of creating a free economic space in the region, where his country, rich in energy, will be able to freely sell oil, gas, gasoline and diesel fuel to its neighbors.

It is also important that the Central Asian Union will help the allied states to somewhat reduce the pressure from Russia and China. Having discussed the issues of cooperation in the field of security, the countries-participants of the union will solve strategic tasks in the region using their own resources. At the same time, if desired, the CAC may even become a military-political bloc, enabling the countries of Central Asia to repel external threats together.