Seminar 32. Andrey Kazantsev: “Russia’s Policy in Greater Central Asia”
On Tuesday, January 18, 2022, the Department of International Relations and the International Laboratory on World Order Studies and the New Regionalism held the 32nd session of Eurasian Online Seminar.
Our guest was Andrey Kazantsev, leading Russian expert on Central Asia, Professor of the HSE Department of International Relations and Chief Researcher at Center for Political Elite Studies at Moscow State Institute of International Relations of the Russian Foreign Ministry (MGIMO University). The topic of his talk was “Russia’s Policy in Greater Central Asia.”
Professor Kazantsev talked about a number of pressing issues including Russia’s policy in Afghanistan after the US troops withdrawal and Russia’s position on the current crisis in Kazakhstan. Professor Kazantsev analyzed the main components of the “winter revolution” in Kazakhstan and emphasized the importance of the issue of Islamic radicalism. Professor Kazantsev identified two Russian policies towards the Taliban*: a policy of dialogue with the moderate wing and a policy of defense in Central Asia.
Professor Kazantsev joined the HSE in 2019. He was born in Ashgabad, Turkmenistan where he received secondary education. After graduating from Moscow State University for the Humanities in 1997, he worked as an expert at the International Institute for the Humanities and Political Studies, Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer at Russian State University for the Humanities and MGIMO University and research fellow at the Center for Euro-Atlantic Security of MGIMO University. From 2012 until 2019, he was Director of the Analytical Center and then the Center for Central Asian and Afghanistan Studies at MGIMO University. In 1996, he spent 10 months as an intern in Turkmen National Institute of Manuscripts which was beginning the work on what later became Ruhnama (the “Book of the Soul”), a two-volume work written by Saparmurat Niyazov, the President of Turkmenistan. In 2009–2010 he was a Jean Monnet Fellow in the Robert Shuman Center for Advanced Studies of European University Institute (Florence, Italy), and in 2012-2013 research fellow at George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies (Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany).
Professor Kazantsev has written extensively on Central Asian politics, Russian and Western policy in the region. His most recent article “Russia's Policies in the Post-Soviet Space: Between Constructive Relations and Fighting the New Cold War” was published as part of “Russian Politics” special issue that was discussed at the last seminar.
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