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“A lot of noise in the Russian media was caused by talks between Tashkent and Washington on establishing the Center for Rapid Response on the territory of Uzbekistan and the intention of the Americans to leave most of the exported military equipment on the Uzbek territory. Despite the fact that a clear decision on the possibility of creating such a base has not been accepted yet, the Russian side expressed its extreme concern. But even if the U.S. military presence in Uzbekistan remains in some form after the withdrawal of ISAF troops in Afghanistan, it could not be regarded as a challenge to Russian interests, since Uzbekistan itself is not interested in such a scenario”, - director of the private research and educational center "Bilim Karvon" ("Caravan of knowledge"), Farhad Tolipov.


"The new president of Afghanistan, who will replace Karzai in 2014, should not only be a good military commander and organizer, but he must also bring fresh ideas and new values to the Afghan people." – Vadim Kozyulin, Senior Research Fellow at the PIR Center.


“Syrian authorities have agreed to form a group for negotiation with opposition. But the gap between the Syrian regime and the Syrian rebels is very wide. After the developments of the past two years, it is most unlikely that the two parties will be able to achieve a diplomatic settlement of this conflict and negotiations seem to be an unrealistic option at this stage. The Syrian conflict could be settled on the battlefield, not at the negotiation table. Rebel forces are making steady progress, even if a slow one. The US veto on arms supply to the Syrian rebels makes it likely that the stalemate will continue and there will be no quick end to this conflict”, - Chairman and Founder of the Gulf Research Center, President of Sager Group Holding, Abdulaziz Sager.


“Among the major and most serious threats coming from Afghanistan are religious extremism, terrorism, and conflict escalation. But the greatest problem to Central Asia is drug trafficking. The issue of drug trafficking in Afghanistan is directly related to the internal situation in the country and the survival of Afghans after military devastation. More than 30% of the drugs in the world are produced in Afghanistan. Most of them are transported through the territory of Central Asia, then in Russia and Europe. Only 10% of the total drug traffic delivered from IRA can be seized on the borders. The bulk of the drugs reaches their consumers”, - director of the private research and educational center "Bilim Karvon" ("Caravan of knowledge"), Farhad Tolipov.


“Mali is Africa’s largest producer of gold. It is also a producer of uranium, diamonds and oil.  It has other natural resources such as copper, lead and zinc, phosphate, lithium, lignite, marble, gypsum, kaolin and diatomite. The struggle for access to and control of its natural resources is the key reason behind France’s decision to conduct military operations in the country and why its Western allies have provided it with material support”, - Head of the Governance and Democracy research program at the Africa Institute of South Africa Sehlare Makgetlaneng.


 «The intriguing plot around the future host of the White House for the next several years is unveiling right now – and the outcome is not clear yet neither for myself, nor for our reviewers Dmitry Evstafiev и Yury Fedorov, who have devoted a number of pages to the results of the Washington pre-election fight, nor for our polemists Christopher Ford and Thomas Graham who observe the developments of the campaign from the inside and express support their candidates — Ford to Romney, Graham to Obama», — writes Vladimir Orlov, the editor-in-chief of Security Index journal in his editorial.



“For Moscow the main problem related to Afghanistan is drug trafficking which causes more deaths than all Afghan wars altogether. Currently it seems that International Security Assistance Force is not ready to solve this problem. Let us imagine a hypothetical situation where Russia and China would try to solve it from the other side – through Pakistan. As expectations rise for the formation of the coalition government with Taliban participation, that is encouraged by the USA, such scenario does not seem so surrealistic,” - PIR Center Senior Research Fellow Vadim Kozyulin.


“Despite there is substantial number of interesting ideas, we cannot implement them due to very limited resources. If we invest money, we should receive political dividends which would then be converted into economic profit – this is the only approach that can justify Russian participation in cross-border projects in Central Asia, including Afghanistan in current situation. It’s necessary to act pragmatically, in a calm manner and what is most important not to squander money.” – Zamir Kabulov, Director of the Second Asia Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Special Presidential Representative on Afghanistan, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (2004-2009).