Looking to further undercut Russia along its frontier to spite them over the Crimea dispute, the US State Department has pledged support for “all post-Soviet states” and are sending officials to Central Asia.
The announced visits come as analysts see Russia trying to improve ties with those same states, Krygyzstan, Kazakhstan, and others, with an eye toward bringing them into the Eurasian Union.
Russia has envisioned the Eurasian Economic Union as a regional bloc across eastern Europe and central Asia similar to the European Union. With the loss of Ukraine in a recent regime change, Russia needs to find partners in the east.
Though State Department officials talked up supporting the “territorial integrity” of the Central Asian nations, there is no indication that Russia has even nominal designs on the territory of any of those nations, beyond hoping to bring them into an economic union.
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