Saturday, July 17, 2010

Unreliable Allies (II) (Germany and Central Asia)

Newsletter 2010/07/16 - Unreliable Allies (II)

TASHKENT/BISHKEK/BERLIN (Own report) - With their brief stopovers in
several Central Asian countries, German Foreign Minister Guido
Westerwelle and Chancellor Angela Merkel are seeking to secure
Germany's position, which has become unstable in these countries. On
Friday, Westerwelle will meet the Kyrgyz transitional president, who
took office following the recent upheavals in that country. The
current Kyrgyz government's close cooperation with Russia is
threatening western influence. Observers are also warning that renewed
unrest in Kyrgyzstan could spread to Uzbekistan and endanger its
authoritarian regime, which for years has been receiving German
support - including military aid. The Nabucco Pipeline project, which
is to supply Europe with natural gas from the Caspian Basin bypassing
Russia, is also in jeopardy. Not only Russian influence is growing in
Central Asia. The People's Republic of China is also strengthening its
position, seeking to secure access to the region's natural resources.
Kazakhstan, where the German chancellor and foreign minister will
arrive on the weekend is of special importance.