On 24 February 2023, the OSCE Academy organized an online event where Dr. Stefan Wolff, Professor of International Security, University of Birmingham, and Co-Coordinator of the OSCE Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institutions, presented the report “The OSCE and Central Asia: Options for engagement in the context of the crisis in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine.” Ms. Aigoul Abdoubaetova, Head of the Research and Training Unit delivered an opening speech and Dr. Aijan Sharshenova, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek, moderated the event.
In this report for the OSCE Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institutions, the authors Stefan Wolff, Anastasiya Bayok, Rahimullah Kakar and Niva Yau explore the implications of the crisis in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine for the OSCE’s engagement in Central Asia focusing on the existing and potential constraints as well as potential opportunities to engage in the wider region. During the presentation, Prof. Wolff provided three new trends that have been accelerated by the war in Ukraine and the crisis in Afghanistan: Russia’s declining influence on the region, China’s reluctance to step decisively into this void, and the increasing ability of the Central Asian countries themselves to provide an alternative framework for managing regional stability. Furthermore, the author provided an overview of the role of the OSCE in the region, the parameters of OSCE engagement, and future engagement options.
The report is available here.