Small State Foreign Policy in Central Asia: The Cases of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan
YazarKelkitli, Fatma Asli
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KünyeKelkitli, F. A. (2022). Small State Foreign Policy in Central Asia. Insight Turkey, 24(4), 145-166.
This article examines and compares the foreign policy preferences of three small states in Central Asia, namely Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, in the post-independence era. Although the three countries share similar features, such as a common Soviet legacy, landlocked position, and population size, the foreign policy behavior differs in Turkmenistan. While Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan align with Russia, Turkmenistan embraces permanent neutrality. This study argues that natural resource endowment, coupled with fewer internal threats and geographical constraints compared to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, helped Turkmenistan to pursue a neutral and more independent foreign policy. Yet, over-reliance on China as the major buyer of Turkmen natural gas may make it difficult to sustain permanent neutrality. © 2022, Insight Turkey. All rights reserved.