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ABSTRACT. The new American government under Barack Obama has the opportunity to avoid geopolitical confrontations in Central Asia and seek a path leading to the constructive integration of Russia and other states in the Caspian region into the Afghan peace mission. The EU has long spoken out in favour of broad cooperation on the part of all actors in the region. But what strategy is Russia pursuing? The Russian-Georgian War in the summer of 2008 and Moscow’s unilateral recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abk- hazia have sent shock waves throughout Central Asia. For the first time since the end of the Soviet Union, Russia has waged a war against a CIS state, altering existing borders by force. To this day, no government in Central Asia has shown any willingness to obey Russia’s demands and recognise the two renegade Georgian provinces as sovereign states. For the EU the question is whether it should cooperate closely with Russia in Central Asia or continue to develop its own strategy in the region. (pp. 164–170)

STEFAN MEISTER
DGAP, Berlin
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