Russia is interested in participating in the construction of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway - expert
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- The other day that Russia is conducting an active dialogue with all potential partners in the construction of the railway was told by the First Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Viktor Babich. Mars Sariev, an independent political scientist associated with the Institute for Central Asian Studies, explains why Russia wants to play an important role in the implementation of this project.
Prospects for the implementation of the project for the construction of a railway, designed to connect China with the republics of Central Asia, have been discussed for over 20 years. During this time, various route options were considered, including a branch from China through Kyrgyzstan to Uzbekistan and further to Turkmenistan and Iran with access to the seaports of Turkey.
Mars Sariev, an independent political scientist associated with the Institute for Central Asian Studies, noted that Russia's interest in the project is directly related to the desire not to lose its influence in the Central Asian region.
“The road from Beijing to Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and further through the Caspian Sea to Turkey competes with the Transsib and the Kazakh branch of the Alashankou road. And there is one more thing - the construction of this road allows Uzbekistan to go directly to the Asia-Pacific region and (creates - approx.) An end-to-end route from Beijing through the whole of Central Asia with access to the ports of Turkey and further to Europe and the Middle East. This will allow the (Central Asian) Region to pursue its policy more independently, and this region will gradually move towards the PRC. This worries the Russian side, so I think that it is interested in the project in order to be a full-fledged participant in the construction of this railway. Then Russia will not lose control over Central Asia. And if Russia does not participate in this project, and this road is built independently, of course it will gradually lose Central Asia, and this gigantic region will go under China. Therefore, this is a geopolitical understanding of the situation. Russia, of course, cannot oppose the implementation of this project, but it will strive to participate in it in order to control the process. Perhaps, in the construction of the track, Russia will take part in the supply of metal, sleepers and so on and will become a shareholder in this enterprise. Thus, China will no longer have a monopoly on this railroad,” Sariev explained.
By the way, now in the process of negotiations, according to the First Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Viktor Babich, there are two uncoordinated issues, one of which is the track gauge. The second question is still the route. Russia actively participates in the discussion of all the nuances.
“It is clear that within the framework of the One Belt, One Road project, the construction of this railway, the laying of the maritime Silk Road, will make China by 2050 the world hegemon, which will overtake the United States and become a superpower. Therefore, there is understanding, and we see opposition from the West to these projects too,” added Mars Sariev.
For Kyrgyzstan, according to him, this project is beneficial in the sense that "a very rapid economic growth will begin."
“The country is a transit point, a very important component of this route. We remember that in the Middle Ages, the Silk Road led to the prosperity of a giant region (up to - approx.) Until the great geographical discoveries, when sea routes were discovered. Now these sea routes are controlled by the West, the United States in particular. And the United States would not want land competition to reappear, and China has risen on it, because the volume of shipping will immediately fall, this is a loss,” the expert summed up.