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EU must build transport corridors to Central Asia bypassing Russia

Nov 21, 2022

The European Union should deepen ties with Central Asia, which in an effort to diversify its relations sees it as the best partner.

It should happen among others through the construction of transport corridors to the region, bypassing Russia.

This was stated by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell in his blog on the website of the European External Action Service.

"As our Central Asian partners are looking to diversify their partnerships, they want more EU engagement. And certainly there is a lot more we can do together on connectivity, energy and security," the post reads.

According to Borrell, for centuries, Central Asia played a key role in linking the Far East with Europe, when "goods and ideas flowed back and forth along the Silk Road".

"But relations need to be nurtured and constantly updated in light of new circumstances. These days, Central Asia is at the centre of events, in geo-strategic and geo-economic terms. It is obvious that the region is looking to diversify its relationships and that the EU is seen as a partner of choice," the head of European diplomacy writes.

Borrell notes that a new dynamic is felt in Central Asia, although Russia and China continue to play an important role in the region.

"Equally, it is obvious that the region is looking to diversify its relationships and that they see the EU as a partner of choice. Leaders in the region are undertaking various reform programmes. In addition, relations among Central Asian countries are improving.  As EU, we have a clear interest to seize on these changes," he said.

The EU should deepen its ties with the region and use the huge potential it has to offer, Borrell said.

"In terms of energy supplies, critical raw materials and new transport corridors that do not depend on Russia (to so-called Middle Corridor or Trans Caspian Corridor)," the diplomat is convinced.

Earlier Borrell said that the West should reduce dependence on China, but not to put this country on a par with Russia.

Author – Anastasiya Glotova, 21/11/2022

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