Why is Turkey’s influence in the region beneficial for Kazakhstan and Ukraine?

The experts of NGRN (Mykhailo Samus, Volodymyr Kopchak, Yurii Poita) together with Kazakh colleagues (Rasul Zhumaly, political analyst; Karlygash Ezhenova, editor-in-chief of Exclusive magazine) discussed еthe growing influence of Turkey for the post-Soviet space.

Key points:

  • the Turkish regional project, in contrast to the Russian one, can offer a positive agenda for interested partner countries.
  • neither Ukraine nor Kazakhstan will have such a level of alliance with Turkey as Azerbaijan. In case of deepening relations each country will have its own keis of cooperation witn Ankara.
  • strengthening self-sufficiency (economic, military etc.) is the guarantor of independence and security for each post-Soviet state. Strengthening its own subjectivity complicates Russian policy in the region.
  • Turkey is a multi-vector regional player, each vector is characterized by its own scenario, and depending on situation, it can have features of both cooperation and confrontation.
  • Russia’s foreign policy is complex  and multilevel, and it shouldn’t be simplified by linking only to particular region and based on common stereotypes.
  • the Turkish vector of foreign policy has always been popular in Kazakhstan, although it did not develop due to the Russian factor. However there are already cautious attemps to activate Turkish-Kazakh relations, and Ankara is a promising partner for balancing the influence of Russia and China.
  • the development of relations between Kazakhstan and Turkey will not be rapid, it is a long-term process.
  • in the context of the growing confrontation between China and the US, China can agree to the military mediation of Russia in Central Asia.

The discussion in Russian is available here:

Part 1 of the discussion is available here.

Yurii Poita

Head of the Asian Section

He has been working as a Head of the Asia-Pacific Section at the Center for Army, Conversion and Disarmament Studies (Kyiv, Ukraine). Yurii also is a sinologist and member of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine.

He studied at the Institute of International Relations of the Kyiv International University, the Wuhan Research Institute of Postal and Telecommunications (China), Zhytomyr Military Institute (Ukraine). At the moment Yurii is a PhD candidate at the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University.

He has experience in defense, international journalism, analytics and research.

Research interests: China’s influence in the post-Soviet space, “hybrid” threats to national security, Ukrainian-Chinese relations, the development of the situation in the Asia-Pacific and the Central Asian region.

He took part in a number of expert and scientific discussions in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Israel, China and other countries. He has participated in research projects on the consequences of educational migration to China, interethnic conflicts and the protest potential of Kazakhstan, creation of a new Asian strategy of the MFA of Ukraine, study of Ukraine’s relations with the countries of Central and East Asia.

Speaks Ukrainian, Russian, English and Chinese.

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April 2021
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