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  • Affiliation : Associate Professor, Department of World Politics, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
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Ivan Safranchuk gave a keynote speech at the Trialogue Club International

10.05.2016

MOSCOW, MAY 10, 2016. PIR PRESS – Russia is following all of the developments in Afghanistan with great attention.  In recent years, this attentiveness was supplemented by the readiness to engage with anyone who is interested in talking rather than shooting.  At the same time, Russia does not accept any obligations.  It is like a visit to a museum; you look at everything with great attention, but you do not touch.  Some people might say that this is a passive position, others – that the position lacks responsibility.  However, I believe that there is a certain logic in it. Intervening and leaving the job half-done is worse, than not intervening at all.” – Dr. Ivan Safranchuk, member of the PIR Center Advisory Board.

A regular meeting of the Trialogue Club International on « Development of the situation in Afghanistan and security threats to Central Asia. Russian security policy in the region” took place. The keynote speaker was Dr. Ivan Safranchuk, one of the leading Russian experts on the security policy in Central Asia, member of the PIR Center Advisory Board and the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy Editor-in-Chief of "The Great Game: politics, business, security in Central Asia" journal.

Diplomats from Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Norway, Poland, Switzerland and Turkmenistan as well as representatives of NATO Information Office in Moscow, and other experts  took part in the meeting. The members of the Club Chairman of the Executive Board of PIR Center Evgeny Buzhinsky and Director of PIR Center Albert Zulkharneev moderated the meeting. 

Ivan Safranchuk presented the current situation in Afghanistan, describing in details the situation in Kabul and at the border with Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, where the number of militants has increased for the last two years. "In all seven northern provinces that border with three Central Asian countries, the situation is as follows: in each of those provinces at least one or two districts are under the control of militants. That is, the provinces are divided into districts, and the militants are not distributed throughout the province, they are concentrated in certain district. They control one or two districts in every province.” 

The speaker described the models for providing security on the border of Afghanistan with three Central Asian republics, the study of which, according to expert’s opinion, is "almost a pure experiment". “So, the experiment is: which approach is going to be the best?  The Uzbekistan approach: to protect the border with its own forces. The Turkmenistan approach: to rely on the UN and diplomacy. And Tajikistan: to rely on national forces and CSTO.” – noted the expert.

In conclusion, Ivan Safranchuk spoke about the essence of the Russian policy towards the situation in Afghanistan. “Russia is following all of the developments in Afghanistan with great attention.  In recent years, this attentiveness was supplemented by the readiness to engage with anyone who is interested in talking rather than shooting.  At the same time, Russia does not accept any obligations.  It is like a visit to a museum; you look at everything with great attention, but you do not touch.  Some people might say that this is a passive position, others – that the position lacks responsibility.  However, I believe that there is a certain logic in it. Intervening and living the job half-done is worse, than not intervening at all.”

Answering the question about the goals of Russian policy in Afghanistan and Central Asia, the expert underlined that “what is happening in Afghanistan is causing great concern. Security risks should not disrupt the economic prospects of the region.  So, Russia’s goal is to create conditions for social and economic development.”  

For questions on the membership in the Trialogue Club International please, contact the Club secretary Alexandra Chepeleva by phone: +7 (985) 764-98-96 or email: secretary at trialogue-club.ru.

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