Saturday, May 01, 2010

The Limits of American Influence (Kyrgyzstan)

Newsletter 2010/04/26 - The Limits of American Influence

BISHKEK/BERLIN (Own report) - Since the change of government in Kyrgyzstan, Berlin has again been seeking to win influence for the EU in Bishkek, to reinforce Europe's standing vis à vis the United States. The CDU affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation is calling on Brussels to engage itself "more energetically than it has in the past" to project its interests in Central Asia. Berlin is counting on closer cooperation with the recently installed provisional Kyrgyz government - a move that the USA and some of the EU member states frown upon. The German government's human rights commissioner declared that he expects Washington to "rally to our political signal". Over the past few years, the United States had predominated western policy in relation to Kyrgyzstan, where it maintains a strategically important military base, which, at the moment, is mainly being used for logistic supplies to Afghanistan but is also in a position to support subversive activities in the People's Republic of China. But Washington lost influence when the president it had supported was forced to flee into exile. Berlin is hoping to step in and reinforce its influence in Bishkek.