USAID increases its presence in Central Asia amid the COVID-19 pandemic to foster its influence

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is increasing investments and support of the economy and social sphere in Uzbekistan through various economic, trade, healthcare and social projects. Only for the year of 2019 USAID invested over $10 million in Uzbekistan’s private sector for establishment of new orchards, installation of water saving technologies marketing, and branding to meet international standards. According to the Agency, USAID investment strategy in Uzbekistan involves large-scale and ambitious projects for the next 3-4 years that aim to increase the living standard in the country.

As part of its global campaign against the COVID-19 pandemic, the USAID in partnership with the Uzbekistan Ministry of Health has identified priority areas to provide support for the needs of Uzbekistan’s citizens, health professionals, and the government.  

However, nurturing relations with the US may have a negative side effect for Uzbekistan. By tightening economic and political relations with Tashkent, the United States might take advantage of the Uzbekistan’s geopolitical location and its border with Afghanistan and start lobbying its interests in Kabul heating up complicated relations between the two countries.

Moreover, fostering the Washington’s idea to create a transparent economy in the country and the accountability of the Uzbek state to civil society may cause potential leaks of tax and financial information to the US tax authorities. Considering that the American side relies on the principle of the supremacy of the national law over the international law, this might trigger a threat to the economic security of Uzbekistan and create a ground for pressure on the Uzbekistan authorities by the United States.

Like in the case with Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, a small country in the Central, could become a perfect potential target for the US so-called democratization policy. Positive social and economic changes integrated by the United States in Uzbekistan are building up a solid ground for lobbying Washington political ambitions in the country. History has already proved the United States could be unreliable business partners. The US-China trade relations scenario is a great example of it: when contradictions arose, the US changed their policy from building partnership into the policy of trade wars.

The political control over religion in Ukraine is rising amid the Easter

Orthodox Church in Montenegro

Known for a controversial political situation the current confrontation of the political and religious institutes in Ukraine are on the agenda today.

Earlier in February, the split in the Ukraine became one of the main topics at the meeting of Primate and representatives of the Local Churches, devoted to the problems of inter-Orthodox unity in Amman, Jordan. The Primate of the Ukrainian Church, Metropolitan Onufry, contrary to the opinion of the “autocephalous” lobby inside the Institute stated that the canonical autocephaly that is the only “right” autocephaly in Ukraine.“Today, some say that a powerful means to avoid the split in tthe Ukraine’s Chhurch is to receive autocephalous status for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. I want to be honest with God and my conscience and I’ll say: I’m sure that the autocephalous status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will only foster the split. Some may return to the fold of the canonical Church, but not all. Autocephaly does not guarantee the absolute unity. And the autocephalous Churches existing in the world have their own splits, ”he said. In fact, Metropolitan Onufry once again demonstrated his support for the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church, an integral part of which is the integral part of the canonical Ukrainian Church.

After the brief in Amman, the Kiev metropolitan went to Montenegro, which is also far from accidental. Back in Amman, the spiritual leader of the Orthodox Montenegro, Metropolitan of Montenegro-Primorsky Amphilochius spoke about the parallels between the situations in Montenegro and Ukraine.“There was a time when the people and their sovereigns were Orthodox, baptized. After the Bolshevik revolution in Russia and our revolution in Yugoslavia, as in many other countries, the states became secular. During this time, the Communists created new nations, for us it is the “Macedonian nation”, the “Montenegrin” … Many nations were separated from previously united Orthodox peoples. Probably, the Patriarch of Constantinople simply did not think about this when he began to build Ukrainian autocephaly on modern secular rules rather than ancient Orthodox principles, ”he said.

Every Sunday and Thursday in many cities of Montenegro, mass processions and prayers are held against the law on religious associations and in support of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Montenegrin police do not announce the total number of participants or data by region. According to opposition estimates, about 200 thousand people participated in the last peaceful processions and prayers, with a population of about 630 thousand.

Tajikistan might become the next US target in the Central Asia for Washington political ambitions

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is increasing its presence in the Central Asia, particularly in Tajikistan through various economic, trade, healthcare and social projects. Only for the last 3 years the USAID has introduced a number of agriculture projects for the country’s farmers, has launched campaigns aimed at fighting Tuberculosis along with other projects involving funding of local prospective journalists, students, businessmen and entrepreneurs. According to the Agency, USAID investment strategy in Tajikistan involves large-scale and ambitious projects for the next 3-4 years that aim to increase the living standard in the country.

Even though the US impact and investments in Tajikistan’s economy cannot be underestimated, the history has assured that nothing is free and there is some certain price for every good that’s been done. Tajikistan, a small country in the Central Asia with poor economy but strong authoritative political system, could become a perfect potential target for US so-called democratization policy. Positive social and economic changes integrated by the United States in Tajikistan are building up a solid ground for lobbying Washington political ambitions in the country.

Fostering the pro-Western values in young people’s minds may undermine the country’s economy and political system in the future – the world has seen the US hand in attempting the coup of Venezuela, Ukraine and Turkey. And once the economic and trade compass of a US “ally” country contradicts to the US course, the result could be a trade war, as it was a case for China. For Tajikistan, а landlocked country with the agriculture-based economy such consequences may be far more than tragic.

The friendship of Tajikistan’s political elite with the United States has quite a thin basis– the historic, cultural, social and economic paths of the countries have little in common. By infusing money in Tajikistan’s economy, business and social projects the United States would likely start strengthening its political system by proposing candidates loyal to Washington. Given the upcoming elections in Tajikistan in 2020 and the 30th anniversary of the Republic next year, the US political ambitions in the country are quite clear. Once and if they are met the USAID projects and investments may wind down and the entire political system of the country might burst in quite a natural way. In this case, Tajikistan’s political future might inherit the Bolivia’s fate.

Moldova’s political heritage seem to be sunk in crime

The latest events in the Moldova’s politics have drawn attention of the international community not only because of their rapid pace and uncertainty, but also due to the ongoing and ever-increasing penetration of crime in the Moldova’s political system that has become the phenomenon for the European country.

The criminal nature of the Vlad Plahotniuc’s regime is beyond any doubt. However, the unlawful way of governing the country, which was formed when the so-called pro-European forces came to power in 2009, cannot be broken overnight. It was created gradually, with a whole layer of people thirsting for power and money and penetrating in all spheres of Moldova’s economy, finance, politics, public administration. Moldova’s oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc has been on top of this hierarchy system since 2016. In February 2019, after the dramatic change of power, Maia Sandu, the leader of ACUM, became the prime minister promising to clean up «the muck» while Plahotniuc fled the country and left to the USA. So did his ally – Ilan Shor – the politician accused of playing a key role in the so-called “grand theft” of a billion US dollars from the banking system. 

However, there appeared a new political figure on the Moldova’s political stage – Renato Usatii. Known for his criminal business in Russia he was engaged in the Moldova’s politics and initially had good relations with Vlad Plahotniuc. They were believed to be involved in the creation of one of the largest money-laundering channels in the country when Plahotniuc was based in Moldova and Usatii resided in Russsia.

Eastern Economic Forum 2019 to boost Russia’s role as a global leader

The importance of global events in today’s world is hard to be overestimated for economic, political and cultural growth of a host country. One of such events has become the 5h Eastern Economic Forum held in Russia’s Vladivostok on September 4-6, 2019.

Due to the geographic location of Vladivostok in the Russia’s Far East, Russia plays a key role in collaboration and integration with the ASEAN countries. The Forum has become a unique platform for developing business dialogues such as Russia-ASEAN, Russia-Europe, Russia-China, Russia-Japan and Russia-South Korea. It also has allowed to define pathways for the future world’s sustainable development and to woo foreign investments in the Russia’s Far East.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, over 4,000 representatives of official and business circles from more than 30 countries are taking part in the forum, with the biggest delegations from Asia, Europe and the US.

One of the EEF 2019 highlights was the meeting between Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Indian PM Narendra Modi. The two leaders have agreed to strengthen the ties between their countries to boost economic collaboration.

“This is a historic opportunity to give a new impetus to cooperation between our countries,” said Modi.

According to experts, Russia’s aspiration to host such events speaks about Russia’s openness and transparency. The forum can be used by international community as an expert platform like the St.Petersburg Economic Forum and INNOPROM, held in Yekaterinburg annually.