The Central Asian region is of particular importance to Russia as a privileged partner and is perceived as an oasis of stability. The praise came from Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko, during his remarks at the opening of the second Central Asian conference of the Valdai International Discussion Club.
“In the current turbulent situation, turbulent realities, perhaps Central Asia is sometimes perceived as a kind of island or oasis of stability. We would really like it to remain that way,” the TASS news agency quotes the high-ranking diplomat.
According to Rudenko, in the near future Moscow would have to review the foreign policy concept and the possible shifts would mark the turn of Russia towards the East. The related steps are already underway, he said.
“Politics is changing, the foreign policy concept that we have adopted, apparently, should be adjusted to these processes. This is being done, and I am sure that Central Asia will continue to occupy its rightful privileged place in this new concept,” the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation stressed.
Rudenko noted that Russia is able to find opportunities to make a cardinal turn towards the promising markets of this region. At the same time, Russia “has great chances to cooperate with China in this area”.
Russia is the major investor in Central Asia
The diplomat stressed that Russia occupies the position of the largest investor in Central Asia.
Accumulated Russian investments in this region for the period 2010-2021 exceed US $30.5 billion.
In 2021, Russia’s trade turnover with Central Asia amounted to US$ 37 billion and registered growth by 30%, Rudenko told.
From 2008 to 2022, Russia provided worth over US$ 6.2 billion aid to the countries of Central Asia.
Furthermore, Russia represents a massive labor market in which Central Asian citizens are also interested.
“Not only because it allows us to help the Central Asian countries in some way. The expert estimates show about 8% of Russia’s GDP come out from labor migrants. In other words, this assistance is bilateral in nature. Indeed, this is very important to us, especially today, when there is a shortage of labor resources, including in remote areas,” Rudenko said.
At present, 4 million Central Asians stay on a permanent basis in Russia.
On 17-18 May 2022, the second Central Asian Conference of the Valdai International Discussion Club is held in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. This year’s theme is “Russia – Central Asia: Cooperation and Development in Conditions of Instability”. The experts from Russia, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan gathered at the forum. ///nCa, 17 May 2022