Ivan Safranchuk: Risks for Central Asia from Afghanistan

Author:Dr. Ivan Safranchuk Date:2016-09-13

On September 6, 2016, the Institute of International and Strategic Studies (IISS) of Peking University (PKU) held the eighth session of “North Pavilion Seminar”, on which a lecture titled “Risks for Central Asia from Afghanistan” was given by Dr. Ivan Safranchuk, Councilor of Foreign Affairs and State Defense Policy of Russia, Professor of Moscow State University of International Relations and expert of Central Asia studies. This seminar was chaired by Associate Prof. GUI Yongtao, Assistant President of IISS and attended by GUANG Guihai, Executive President of IISS and others.

According to Dr. Ivan Safranchuk, recent two years has witnessed increasingly dangerous security situations of Afghanistan, which is especially noticeable for the northern provinces that are under pressures of armed groups from multiple sides; some of the armed conflicts took place near the border areas between Afghanistan and Central Asian Countries. Besides, the anti-government cliques also attacked the areas bordering the Republic of Tajikistan and Turkmenistan from inside Afghanistan. With the growing trend of instability of northern Afghanistan, Central Asia is also faced with increasing concerns.

In his lecture, Dr. Ivan Safranchuk elaborated on the major five security threats posed by Afghanistan to Central Asia, i.e. smuggling, cross-border penetration, Taliban militants, refugees and conflicting belts in expansion; he also made specific analysis on several scenarios including foreign assistance. In terms of Central Asia’s response to the potential risks, Dr. Ivan Safranchuk listed the strength and weakness of three kinds of responses: military buffer zone, none-military buffer zone and negotiation.

Dr. Ivan Safranchuk held that, instead of shared security, the current relationship between Central Asia and Afghanistan seemed to be bounded more by divided insecurity. All Central Asian countries desire for relative stability of Afghanistan in order to attain balance in security and economic interests. Central Asia and Afghanistan are closely intertwined in terms of security and fate, hence mere moral support from Central Asian countries is bound to dissatisfy Afghanistan.

 Dr. Ivan Safranchuk also exchanged views on the safety issue of Central Asia with students and the faculty present at the seminar.


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