Context:

Russia will bolster Central Asian ally Tajikistan’s military with weapons, equipment and training amid a “deteriorating” situation in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Relevance:

Prelims, GS-II: International Relations (Important Foreign Policies and Political developments), GS-I: Geography (Maps)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Cooperation between Russia, Tajikistan and neighboring countries
  2. Significance of the Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan etc., region for India

Cooperation between Russia, Tajikistan and neighboring countries

  • Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will hold joint military drills near Tajikistan’s border with Afghanistan, where the Taliban has made huge military gains and claims to control 90% of the country’s borders.
  • Russia organized additional supplies of weaponry and equipment to bolster Tajikistan’s Army.
  • Russia continues to train qualified Tajik military personnel.
  • Russia blamed the worsening security situation in the region around Afghanistan on the “hasty” withdrawal of U.S. forces and said that it was ready to offer “any necessary help to” countries like Tajikistan.

Map of the region:

Significance of the Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan etc., region for India

  • Central Asia serves as a land bridge between Asia and Europe, making it geopolitically axial for India.
  • The region is rich in natural resources such as petroleum, natural gas, antimony, aluminum, gold, silver, coal and uranium which can be best utilized by Indian energy requirements.
  • Central Asia has huge cultivable areas lying barren and without being put to any productive use, offering enormous opportunity for cultivation of pulses.
  • India intends expansion of International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) to Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. This will act as a vital gateway to access Eurasian markets and optimally operationalize its use, requiring a Central Asian state joining the project as a direct stakeholder.
  • India has proposed setting up of ‘India-Central Asia Development Group’ to take forward development partnership between India & Central Asian countries. This group will help India to expand its footprints in the resource-rich region amid China’s massive inroads and to fight terror effectively, including in Afghanistan.
  • India has a very wide array of interests in Central Asia covering security, energy, economic opportunities etc., therefore Security, stability and prosperity of Central Asia is imperative for peace and economic development of India.
  • Both India and Central Asian Republics (CARs) share many commonalities and perceptions on various regional and world issues and can play a crucial role in providing regional stability.

-Source: The Hindu

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