The EU strategy for Central Asia and Kyrgyzstan foreign policy
Over the last two years the European Union has changed its attitude towards the countries of Central Asia. The EU has strengthened its relationship with the region since the adoption of The EU and Central Asia: Strategy for a New Partnership by the European Council in June 2007. The strategy aims to strengthen relations in all spheres of ... cooperation. The objectives of the new strategy are reinforcement of political dialogue through regular meetings of EU and Central Asian Foreign Ministers, reinforcement of dialogue on human rights, cooperation in the areas of education, rule of law, advancement of trade and economic relations, energy, transport, environment, water as well as joint activities against common threats and challenges. The strategy is supported by a significant increase in EU assistance. For Kyrgyzstan, as one of the Central Asian countries, the presence in world politics is only possible through the participation in the international organizations on the global and regional level. The current geopolitical situation requires a balanced relationship with countries in near and far abroad and a well-adjusted policy of between different poles of influence. To support and advance its national interests at the sub-regional (Central Asia), regional (within the CIS, European and Asian areas) and global (via the system of international organizations) levels, Kyrgyzstan conducts targeted, multi-balanced foreign policy. The initiatives and activities commensurate with the real political and economic capabilities and the degree of involvement in international policy processes. In recent years the importance of the economic dimension of foreign policy has increased. This is connected with the objective to contribute to reforms and economic stabilization in the country and strengthen its position in foreign markets. The international relations of Kyrgyzstan traditionally mean close contacts with Central Asian states. The reasons are geographical neighborhood, related cultures, traditions, customs and common historical destiny, as well as the complementarities and interdependences of economies. The analysis of Kyrgyzstan´s cooperation with other CIS countries proves the necessity of these relationships. However, despite well-developed legal framework, the potential of the cooperation is not fully exhausted due to objective circumstances. Status and prospects of Kyrgyz relations with the developed countries show, that the conclusion of bilateral agreements and intensification of the investment in Kyrgyz economy would lead to the stable development to a market economy. The cooperation with Western countries is one of the most important foreign policy priorities of the Kyrgyz Republic. The most active relationships are maintained with such leading countries as the United States, Germany and France. However, despite the positive impact of these relations, the danger of partial or complete economic dependence cannot be ignored. Especially Kyrgyz-German relations are developing most actively, including declaratory stage and have reached the level of specific bilateral cooperation. With other Western States Kyrgyzstan has an only fragmented and unstable relation. Due to economic and financial difficulties and poor resource potential, Kyrgyzstan could not fully develop bilateral relations with many countries, in particular, with the Asia-Pacific region. However, the enhancement of cooperation with these states has good prospects for the republic. As a landlocked country, located on the periphery of the major routes, Kyrgyzstan seeks to create infrastructure on the basis of the alliance and partnership with Russia, Kazakhstan,Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and other CIS countries as well as through the development of transnational projects, linking the states of Eurasian continent and of the Asia-Pacific region. Since independence, the Kyrgyz Republic became a member of the leading international organization. This is a fundamental factor for the inclusion of the country into the global processes. Thus, in the foreign policy of the Kyrgyz Republic has already identified the priority areas, which are characterized by the principles of multilateralism. This allows the country to establish bilateral relations with many countries in the world without strict obligations due to the transitional period of development. The best option for the operation on the international arena is foreign policy, which enables the country to continue the policy of balancing between the poles of influence.