А. Паизова, Г. Р. Дадабаева, Д. В. Парк

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Case Selection
This article studies the reason behind the formation of dissimilar external orientation of Central Asian states (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan) with the focus on Kazakhstan despite their location in the similar geo-strategic environment. In overall, states are holding multivectoral foreign policy, which makes the undivided foreign policy of specific great power almost impossible. This research work states that the existing theories of political realism do not provide enough convincing approach to explain the divergences in the foreign policy strategies of the regional states. Moreover, they are not able to explicate the policies of conflicting great powers to affect the foreign policy choices of these states. Therefore, the major part of this paper will be devoted to exploration of the presented cases in the framework of the theoretical assumption, which have already been explained. These five states- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan are going to be analysed in order to test the hypothesis regarding the foreign policies of weak states which are found in between the great power rivalries. The empirical analysis of the work is particularly focused on the timeframe from 2001 till the present date. This period has been chosen due to the events of September 11, 2001 and their roots in the terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan, when Central Asia came to the forefront of U.S. attention. Consequently, American presence in the region made Russia to resort counteractive position so that the rivalries between Russia and the Western powers evolved at some point during this period. Moscow accusation of the US and NATO of "abusing hospitality" in Central Asia and compelling Kyrgyzstan to terminate the lease agreement by the Americans for the base / transit center in Manas in 2009 (see http://en.ria.ru/russia/20130508/181039938-print/Putin-Criticizes-ISAF-for-Afghan- Drug-Threat-Inaction.html) serves as an example of geopolitical confrontation of two sides over the region. It has to be notes, that this rivalry remained limited to non-military means of achieving the desired results.

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