Experts: EU not to be leading political power in Kyrgyz settlement

Azerbaijan, Baku, April 26 / Trend E. Ostapenko /

Kyrgyzstan will not become a platform where the EU will act with one voice and play a significant political role in establishing stability, experts said.

"The EU is unlikely to go beyond the supply of humanitarian aid to Kyrgyzstan, as there is no serious interest, pushing it into more active participation," the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA) expert, Igor Torbakov, told Trend over phone.

Mass rallies that covered almost the entire country the next day began in Kyrgyzstan April 6. The victims of clashes between opposition supporters and security forces were more than 80 people. More than 1,500 people were injured. President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who came to power after the "Tulip Revolution" in 2005, left Bishkek. The opposition formed a temporary government headed by Rosa Otunbayeva.

After the Treaty of Lisbon came into force in December last year, the EU leading members often state about the intention to speak with one voice and play a crucial role on the international political arena.

Recently, the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton has stated about her readiness to provide Kyrgyzstan with necessary political, financial and technical assistance if the country's leadership reaffirms the commitment to democratic values.

But Torbakov considers that it does not worth waiting active involvement in the process of establishing stability in Kyrgyzstan from the EU, because this country is too far from the EU. Any shock that may occur there will not affect the security situation in the EU.

The EU is not very interested in the situation in Kyrgyzstan, although it supported the interim government, Alexander Rahr, director of the 'Russia-Eurasia' center at the Council on Germany's Foreign Policy said. There are no threats to the EU from this country. So, it will not send its policemen or peacekeepers there.

The European Union recognized the Kyrgyz temporary government and has delegated Special Representative Pierre Morel to familiarize with the situation. Today, the EU foreign ministers gather in Luxembourg, where they discuss the situation in Kyrgyzstan and determine their next steps together with other topics.

Recognition of the Kyrgyz interim government by the European Union is associated with confidence in the continuation of the old line in foreign policy by the republic, Rahr said.

"If the Islamists or others, having no trust, came into power in the country, then Europe would have supported Bakiyev. But the Europeans are confident that there will be no changes in the course of the republic. It means that the new government can be supported," Rahr told Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

There is also the economic aspect of the EU's more restrained interest in Kyrgyzstan.

"It should be noted that the EU, like any normal political integration organization, has healthy economic pragmatism. Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are the highest priorities for the EU due to the fact that they have significant energy reserves, Kyrgyz political analyst Nur Omarov told Trend over phone.

Interest in energy routes today is the key point in relations between the EU and Central Asia, Omarov said.

Despite the EU numerous statements about the intention to play a greater role in political processes in the world, it is unlikely to be implemented in practice, Omarov said, given the EU serious problems both in political and economic spheres today.

It becomes clear that the EU representatives will make great statements by entering into force of the Lisbon Treaty, creating special organizations, allocating huge budget, expert on Central Asian region Torbakov said. However, the European Union in the form it exists today, is not an organization that can provide security. The EU can offer many other interesting things, but not security, he said.

Kyrgyz experts Omarov expects from the EU, first, humanitarian and economic assistance. Real political support will be expressed in the consultations on the constitutional reform in the country, he said, mentioning the financial support already rendered by the Venice Commission - an advisory body to the Council of Europe on constitutional issues.

Small chance of serious involvement of the EU in the Kyrgyz settlement is connected with the fact that the EU can not achieve unity even in more important issues, Torbakov said.

"What can be more important for the EU than the formation of a single sensible policy towards Russia?" There is no more serious challenge to verify whether the EU is able to act with single power. The answer is no. It can not," Torbakov said.

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