Experts: Russia can be only guarantee of security in Kyrgyzstan
Azerbaijan, Baku, June 19 / Trend E.Ostapenko /
Russia can act as the real guarantee of restoring stability in Kyrgyzstan, preferably within the CSTO. However, the involvement of Russia is preferable only after the strength of internal government is exhausted, experts said.
"Although there is a tendency in the world to pull a geopolitical rope between Russia and the U.S., between Russia and the EU, but in a situation with Kyrgyzstan all major international players - the U.S., China and the EU are ready to give Russia a carte blanche," Finnish expert Igor Torbakov told Trend over phone.
Riots in Kyrgyzstan in the form of inter-ethnic clashes between the Kyrgyz and the Uzbeks began in the city of Osh in the south of the Republic during the night of June 11. Then the riots spread to the Jalal-Abad region. During a few days in the areas affected by riots, there was massacre. Houses burnt. Looters rampaged.
At present, there are more than 100,000 refugees from the Kyrgyz Republic. According to the official figures, about 200 people died. The authorities recognize that there can be more victims.
Earlier, the Kyrgyz interim government appealed to Russia for peacekeeping assistance. But Russia said that there were no conditions to use the Russian Armed Forces in the country yet, because this is an internal conflict, and sent humanitarian support and assisted while transporting of the wounded.
The only possible guarantor of restoring stability in Kyrgyzstan could be Russia which has not only economic interests in Central Asia. Its security directly depends on the situation in the region, Russian analyst on Central Asia Dmitry Popov said.
Forms of Russian involvement and its rationale may be different, he said. In principle, Russia can send to Osh its military contingent or the units of the CSTO, which is more preferable. The rationale for intervention can be new Kyrgyz authorities' appeal for assistance or a reference to the new legislation on the protection of Russian citizens abroad.
However, Russia should intervene only when all possibilities to restore order in the republic by the Kyrgyz authorities themselves will be exhausted. he supposes. While there are such possibilities, Russia will keep "pause" by assisting the interim government and the Kyrgyz people with humanitarian supplies, equipment, helicopters and other means, Popov said.
"Thus, the challenge now is to estimate correctly whether the interim government is able to stabilize the situation. Power gives benefits, but also requires responsibility," the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies in Yekaterinburg expert Popov told Trend via e-mail.
An inter-ministerial group began to investigate the riots in the south. Several dozen criminal cases have been filed. There are foreign mercenaries among the detainees, Deputy Prime-Minister of the Kyrgyz interim government Azimbek Beknazarov said.
The probability of involvement of other political players in the suspension of violence and restoration of the situation in Kyrgyzstan is improbable, experts said.
The U.S. government of Barack Obama as George W. Bush, is not interested in anything except the opportunity to use the Manas base in Kyrgyzstan to deliver goods to Afghanistan, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs expert (FIIA) Torbakov said. The most important thing for them is to seek assurances of the head of the interim Kyrgyz government Rosa Otunbayeva that the conditions for use of the Manas base will not be changed.
The U.S has allocated only $2 million to restore the destroyed Osh - the so-called southern capital of Kyrgyzstan with a predominance of the Uzbek population, Torbakov said.
The EU is absolutely helpless in this situation, he said. "The EU is not able to speak with one voice and one position on any of the issues strategically important for it, whether it is energy policy towards Russia, the attitude towards the nearest neighbors or the countries of Central Asia", Torbakov said.
He said that the EU has certain energy interests in the region. The EU would like to differentiate its energy pipelines, but Central Asia is far. It is unclear how to lay these pipelines bypassing Russia.
"Therefore, Kyrgyzstan can not count on anyone except on Russia within the CSTO and directly on Russia, if it deals with humanitarian, economic and technical assistance", he said, expressing regret that Russia has not been operating actively yet.
European expert on Central Asia Jos Boonstra proposes two variants from a military point of view.
"Either Russia intervenes after further UN Security Council discussions for instance in the framework of CSTO. Or, more unlikely, Russia and the U.S would act together since both have a military basis in Kyrgyzstan and the capacity to quickly react," Boonstra told Trend via e-mail.
However I doubt if there will be military intervention, Boonstra said.
"The U.S, Russia and certainly the EU do not seem to be eager to intervene since consequences of duration, intensity and regional implications of the mission would be difficult to foresee," he said.