Withdrawal of ISAF troops from Afghanistan in 2014 may expand the power vacuum in Central Asia created more than two decades ago. Against this backdrop, Russia, China and the U.S. continue to make attempts to extend their influence within the Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union, with each taking a different approach to integration.

This Russia Direct Brief analyzes three competing integration strategies, with an emphasis on the primary political, economic and security interests that motivate Russia, the U.S. and China.


"Central Asia as geopolitical pivot: Three scenarios for integration” is written by Alexey Vlasov, Director General of the Information and Analytical Center for Post-Soviet Studies, Deputy Dean of the History Department at Lomonosov Moscow State University, and Dmitry Ontoev, Expert at the Public Political Studies Center.