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Central Asia is a highly strategic region traditionally trapped between several major powers but generally dominated by Russia, whose primary objective remains protecting the buffer zones that extend all the way to Eastern Europe.

The Russian government’s power depends on the security services, provision of economic incentives to a small group of elites and the acquiescence of the Russian population.

Ongoing regional and ethnic tensions threaten the unity of Central Asia and thus, sometimes, to the security of Russia.

Eurasia is highly exposed to Russia economically, especially when it comes to currencies, remittances and labor. Nevertheless, as the Russian economy weakens, partly due to the exporters’ crisis, its financial troubles are contributing to Central Asia’s slow destabilization.

While Russia is the dominant force, the economic slowdown in China, which is a major benefactor of much of Eurasia, is a major risk for Central Asian economies.

Regional Assessment of Russia

Regional Assessment of Central Asia

Required Reads: Eurasia

From our 2020 Forecast...

Russia has managed to maintain stability despite the massive downturn in oil prices. However, there are significant constraints on the standard of living and government services outside the major cities. The export crisis will strike Russia particularly sharply because its economy is largely driven by oil and gas exports. This will increase dissatisfaction in Russia, but not to a point threatening the regime.

Eurasia in our Memos

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More from Eurasia

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