Russland og USA i Sentral-Asia: samarbeid eller rivalisering
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This report analyses the relationship between Russia and the United States in Central Asia. It explores the implications of a generally improved environment for Russian-US (security) cooperation in a region where interaction between them has traditionally been characterised by conflicting interests and the pursuit of incompatible goals and objectives. Central elements are a discussion of similarities and differences in their security thinking and an attempt to identify Russian and US interests and objectives in the region in a post-September 11 setting. The report also discusses implications of US-Russian cooperation and non-cooperation in Central Asia for Russian-Western integration in general, and whether their interaction in this region may promote or inhibit the establishment of a broader Russian-Western security community. Findings indicate that cooperation between Russia and the US in Central Asia is still severely constrained by conflicting interests, incompatible objectives and competition over politico-military influence. This is reflected in the establishment and strengthening of security ties and politico-military alliances “away from each other” – even in cases where interests and agendas seem to coincide. Differences in security thinking or perception of threats/risks stemming from the region, combined with conflicting geopolitical and economic interests, confine the potential for closer (security) cooperation. The lack of a shared vision/perspective and the absence of an internally based consensus regarding the rationale for closer US-Russian partnership may also inhibit the establishment of a Russian-Western security community.