In 2017, Kyrgyzstan and its residents witnessed many political events. Experts said that these events contributed to the strengthening of the state and its formation. Moreover, Kyrgyzstan managed not only to maintain, but also to strengthen political stability in the country and to become a geopolitical player in the region and in the world. Expert on international affairs, political scientist Edil Osmonbetov told Kabar News Agency about what was achieved by Kyrgyzstan in 2017 in a political sense and he also summed up the results of the outgoing year.
The political scientist said that 2017 was the defining year for both Kyrgyzstan and the whole world. "There were many challenges and threats, but fortunately 2017 for Kyrgyzstan turned out to be successful in terms of geopolitics and all policy," he said.
The expert on international affairs is convinced that this year the country was able to pass many reefs that were very dangerous for Kyrgyzstan and its citizens.
First, Osmonbetov said, this year is characterized for Kyrgyzstan by the fact that we have changed politically.
"Firstly, there is the presidential election, in which the first peaceful transfer of power in Central Asia and the CIS space fr om one elected president to another elected one took place. That is, this is a unique moment, for which one can thank former President Atambayev, because he took a step that no one leader of the Central Asian region and the entire CIS did," he said.
The expert said that it was the moment of the transfer of power by peaceful means, which was a very great example for all in Central Asia and the CIS.
The political scientist also said we can criticize and express dissatisfaction, "but the fact that we did it shows that we took a big step and gave a good example and experience to all other countries of Central Asia and the CIS."
Another political outcome of the outgoing year, Osmonbetov called the fact that not only the composition of the first persons has changed in Kyrgyzstan, but the political structure and configuration of power has changed. "This is the entry into force the amendments to the Constitution on December 1, wh ere the redistribution of powers touched the president, the government and to some extent the parliament," he said. Due to this, the expert believes, Kyrgyzstan will have an entirely new political structure that should give more powers to the government.
"And of course the new role of the president for the country. This is also a completely new phenomenon for all countries of the region," he said.
Osmonbetov considers that another outcome of the year was the election of a new government, which is called the government of "young politicians". "This also indicates a change in the political elite, through a new government. And accordingly, people pin great hopes on this new government, and as we can see already it is trying to take measures in the economy," the political scientist added.
Osmonbetov said that there is also a geopolitical outcome for the country, according to which in 2017 Kyrgyzstan became a geopolitical player of Central Asia through the Kyrgyz-Kazakh conflict.
"In this process, we proved to be more stable than the more economically developed Kazakhstan," the expert said.
Osmonbetov added that the geopolitical tandem Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan was created in the outgoing year and now both states will determine in which vector the development of Central Asia will go. "Before that, we were saying that Central Asia had come into the geopolitical movement, and two examples of this are the improvement of Kyrgyz-Uzbek relations and the Kyrgyz-Kazakh aggravation," the political scientist said. And now, according to his observations, Kyrgyzstan is not just a country in geopolitical terms, but a subject of Central Asia.
"And we will form a political model. And it is the Kyrgyz-Uzbek relations that will be modeled for all countries of the region," the expert said.
In addition to the above, Osmonbetov said that "Kazakhstan loses its political weight in the region." "An example of this is that for the first time there was information war against us and we participated in it and it is believed that we have won it. This is also the result for us, which says that we have political adaptability, despite less resources. And to some extent we have reduced the conflict potential in the region," the political scientist noted.
To other successes of Kyrgyzstan in 2017, an expert on international affairs added the political stability in the country, which, he said, is a very serious and huge step for the state.
Another no less important outcome of the year is the settling of the border issue with Uzbekistan. The expert is sure that this event is also the great achievement of the outgoing year, and in spite of the fact that it is still difficult to assess, but it speaks about many things.
Speaking about the events of regional scale for Kyrgyzstan, the expert said that, the resolution of the problem on the Kyrgyz-Kazakh border is also an important result for the country.
"And one of the most important outcomes of 2017 is that Kyrgyzstan has become strong as the state. The reason is that we have eliminated the attempt of external interference in our political and electoral space. Whether we want it or not, the regional power tried to do it and we avoided this attempt of external influence or control over us," he said.
From observations of the expert, in the outgoing year there was another major political event, which can also be added to the results of 2017. "Kyrgyzstan has now become a completely different country," he said. Osmonbetov explained this that we started participating in such processes, in which 26 years did not participate. "In other words, in reformatting Central Asia is some way," he said.
The expert on international affairs added the fact that, in 2017 Kyrgyzstan made to work such bureaucratic structures as the EEU, the CSTO and other structures. "That is, we raised questions and thereby tested them for effectiveness and said that there should be a structure that should benefit Kyrgyzstan and all the participants in the associations," the political scientist said and added that in the autumn of 2017 all these structures have begun to stir.
"And now the improvement of Kyrgyz-Uzbek relations has forced other countries to reconsider their policy towards Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan is already doing that. And now we have become a driver in Central Asia. Plus, Russia, due to the improvement of Kyrgyz-Uzbek relations, currently is not removing the issue of the construction of hydroelectric power plants in the Kyrgyz Republic," he added.
To the achievements in international affairs in the outgoing year, the expert on international affairs added the increased attention of European countries and China to Kyrgyzstan. "Visit Moherini [High Representative of the EU] says that we are a unique country in terms of building a new political democratic model for the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus," the political scientist believes. In his view, there is no way that the European Union, which is very far away, simply strengthens its attention to certain countries.
Concerning the noticeable improvement in relations with China in the outgoing year, the expert said that this is a demonstration that bilateral relations have great prospects and we need to get our benefits from all this.
Along with all the achievements Osmonbetov pointed to the disadvantages that were in 2017 for Kyrgyzstan. "We must restore, first, a full-fledged relationship with the US and sign an intergovernmental agreement with them," he said. The reason, he said, is that the country needs a third party. "And this is what the ex-president of Kyrgyzstan said about when he said that in 2017, in the political sense, we learned a lot," the political scientist said. According to his words, in the outgoing year we realized that the agreements on eternal friendship that we signed over the past 26 years often do not work in practice. And also that we need to shape our Kyrgyz interest in the politics and geopolitics of Central Asia and we must clearly articulate our national interests.
"This is what 2017 showed us. And in this case we will have a clear idea of our place and role in the world," Osmonbetov said.
Another awareness raised by the results of 2017 was that Kyrgyzstan needed to diversify the economy, seek new ways of development, and so on. "And it is clear that at any time the protectionism policy will influence all this, because our political system differs sharply from the systems of other countries of Central Asia," the political scientist stressed.
Another outcome of 2017, the expert attributes the fact that Kyrgyzstan was able to use those resources that were available. "And the conflict with the neighboring state showed that we can use the information platform, as well as international platforms, like the EEU and the UN for its own good. And this shows that we are a healthy society," he said.
And the most important political outcome of the outgoing year, Edil Osmonbetov said, this is that we have reached a new geopolitical level and we have gained new experience in participating in regional problems.
"We have become the subjects of many political and geopolitical processes," concluded the expert on international affairs and political analyst.
Reported by Ermek Abdrisaev for Kabar (Kyrgyzstan).