Global: Kazakhstan chaos, geopolitical positioning and risk factors

The protests, which started in Kazakhstan since January 2, due to energy consumption prices (gasoline, LPG) and the worsening economic situation, continue to increase.

The protests, which started in Kazakhstan since January 2, due to energy consumption prices (gasoline, LPG) and the worsening economic situation, continue to increase. While President Tokayev accepted the resignation of the government, which he held responsible after the escalating events, he sought help from the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (that is, Russia). Faced with the West due to the Ukraine conflict, Russia seems to be opening a new front by deploying in Kazakhstan. In this respect, the position of Kazakhstan, which is especially rich in uranium in terms of energy, has once again turned the event to the US - Russia - China - Western Europe axis.

 

Russia and Ukraine are a known problem and strategists are analyzing war doctrines reminiscent of World War II. A fundamental problem is that when energy resources are in such a strategic position, Russia reaches the spheres of influence of the former Soviet Union with Ukraine - Kazakhstan - Baltic - Caucasus and Nord Stream 2 . Here are the conflicting situations: Russia does not want the North Atlantic Pact (NATO) to expand eastward. The US, on the other hand, is Russia's access to areas of influence during the Communism period, and the buffer zones such as Ukraine and Poland under its own control. This is where the involvement in the events in Belarus came from. Kazakhstan is both a bridge between Russia and China and an important supplier of oil, natural gas, uranium and coal. The protests have the potential to have disruptive effects on energy production and transport, enough to be concerned about the spillover effect given that other Central Asian countries rich in energy and raw materials have similar autocracy regimes. Kazakhstan is also the place where the demonstrations that triggered Soviet perestroika were first held during the Gorbachev era; With the rising national consciousness, independence and the Nazarbayev regime had come.

 

Ruble, oil, Kazakh tenge and uranium ETF price comparison… Source: Bloomberg

 

It is a region that neither Russia nor China can ignore… Political and economic interests are both important, and the two interests of the US and its allies clashing from time to time, the Russia-China duo is a multifaceted economic, psychological, social, cold war, hot war, they have the potential to be the subject. The thesis that the US/Europe-Russia tension cannot harm Russia is based on the Russia-China alliance. The tension in the Donbass region of Ukraine and the issue of the Black Sea and Crimea are heating up day by day. The United States has not had significant military successes in recent history in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Even though the Soviet threat was eliminated after the Cold War era, there is a Russia that got stronger with Putin. The growing power of China and the proliferation of highly effective terrorist networks, threats from nuclear ballistic powers such as North Korea and Iran hinder the US from over-distributing power. Kazakhstan's request for help from the CSTO (i.e. Russia), which replaced the Warsaw Pact, is an important opportunity for Russia, because the north of the country is home to a large ethnic Russian population and most of its hydrocarbon resources are located here. The Baikonur Cosmodrome and Kazakh gas, which will form a basis for Russian production, are also important interests. Kazakhstan also provides at least 5% of China's natural gas imports. We will follow the forward-looking role of both the CSTO and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, of which all three countries are members, in this crisis. The CSTO intervention in Kazakhstan recalls the Warsaw Pact invasion of Hungary and Czechoslovakia in 1956 and 1968. Kazakhstan is the largest, richest country in Central Asia and shares an extensive border with Russia. It is nothing new for Russia to intervene in the iturmoil in neighboring countries that will put the allied regimes in trouble.

 

The area of ​​conflict with Russia is mostly Europe. Since the primary enemy in World War II was Nazi Germany, the West could not have any vision of the Baltic countries and the east of Poland, which the Soviets swallowed. It was up to the United States to clean up Western Europe. In World War II, the enemy in the Pacific was Japan, and China took its place. China has a serious claim area, especially Taiwan, in the South China Sea and the Western Pacific (Japan also has interests in this region), and it is trying to expand its influence on the islands here. That's why they operate in many places without obeying international rules of engagement (such as building artificial islands, arming these places is a big threat to countries like Taiwan, Philippines, South Korea). We can also include the Indochina Peninsula in this sphere of influence. The RCEP regional trade agreement was a move that would touch US economic interests. So no one is idle.

 

It reveals balances that can be reversed with the domino effect of a crisis originating from Russia. Because it is highly probable that the Russian crisis will negatively affect the countries in the geography. Dependence on Russia increases as you go east in Europe. Especially for the Commonwealth of Independent States, which are former Soviet republics, this is an effect that can be demonstrated with a little more numbers. It should not be ignored that the CIS countries can negatively affect each other through trade among themselves. It will also affect Russia through exports to former Eastern Bloc countries and Turkic Republics with which Russia has very close commercial relations.

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