Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 2 / Trend , V.Zhavoronkova/
Kazakhstan as the chairman at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) can mediate between interests of Russia and West, believes Michael Laubsch, German Expert for Central Asia.
"In theory the European Union (EU) might hope that Kazakhstan could play a position as an intermediate between the interests of Russia and the West," the member of the working group of the conference on Kazakhstan's chairmanship in OSCE in 2010, which was held in Astana on Oct. 28, Laubsch wrote to Trend in an email.
The Kazakh Chairmanship next year can be successful, said Laubsch, the head of the German non-governmental organization ETG (Eurasian Transition Group).
He believes the EU is aware that one should not put too much expectations into the Chairmanship, moreover, those expectations should be low and "realistic".
"The main partner for Kazakhstan is of course Russia, but with the State Program "Path to Europe" and the multi-vectoral foreign policy of Kazakhstan, it is obvious that the country will not only support Russian interests," Laubsch said.
Therefore, the expert believes the EU might be right in its assumption, that Kazakhstan could become an intermediate between Russian and Western "geostrategic and security interests".
The EU of course is focusing in its support of the Kazakh OSCE Chairmanship 2010 mainly on security issues, he said.
This [security issue] is probably, beside the energy aspect, the main importance for the EU in terms of a Kazakh CiO, Laubsch said. He believes Afghanistan will play the most important role for the EU.
"With a substantial Kazakh support, at least some problems in Afghanistan could be solved during 2010," he believes.
Beside Afghanistan, the conflict zones in Georgia and Nagorno-Karabakh could be an issue for the EU, the expert said.
The second basket, economy and ecology, will be a main item for the Kazakh Chairmanship next year, Laubsch believes.
The focus on transport and environmental questions is also in the interest of a broader EU strategy towards Central Asia.
"On the one hand bringing the markets of CA and in addition China closer to the European Union, on the other hand having an OSCE Chairmanship that is aware of the enormous ecology threats in the region of Central Asia," the expert said.
He believes some member states of the EU are aware of the fact, that ecology and economy within the OSCE will become the main issues of the 21st century
"The OSCE has to be reformed in order to face the challenges of this century," he said.