Conclusion Since neoclassical realism develops theories that includes both systemic and unit level factors in its analysis of foreign policy, it has been chosen as the guiding theoretical line of the work. It was revealed that the restricting practical scope of military power considerably affects the rise of soft power. An all-out war between great powers can turn out to be catastrophic not only for the sides that are directly involved but also for the entire world. Particularly, the destructive threat of nuclear power, which pushed great powers into “absolute impotence” in their conflicts with each other, has necessitated the development of non-military means in great politics. Therefore, great powers hesitate to resort to military power in the resolution of their problems. We state, that for Russia in order to sustain its sphere of influence, resort to soft power strategy in variety of forms (cultural diplomacy, economic aid, elite ties, military diplomacy) and its own anti-western direction justifies itself in the region, where its normatives, democracy values, narratives are welcomed by the leaders of CA states that are seeking to consolidate their powers in the region.
However, neoclassical realism, along with other branches of realism, have paid little attention to the policies of the conflicting great powers to reach out to the domestic actors that are in between their conflict. Although neoclassical realists have acknowledged the importance of the intervening power of domestic state actors in the formulation of foreign policy, they have not thoroughly analyzed the policies of great powers to interact with these domestic actors in target states and seek to make use of them. Our paper serves as an attempt to fill in this gap. It argues that the success of soft power in authoritarian states has primarily depends on inter-elite relations with targeted states, as well as their specific interests in the alliance.
Therefore, personal transnational or “Trans imperial” communications serve as the main transmission mechanism of Moscow. For example, without the active support of Nazarbayev, the Eurasian Economic Union (like its predecessor, the Customs Union) would not have been created. In the same way, Putin’s support for Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev and the latter’s dependence on Kremlin favor are the only and most important factor in Moscow’s resurgent influence in this country. Conversely, Russia's leverage is weaker in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, where no such personal relationship has developed. However even in these countries, Moscow retains a real ability to influence due to close ties between the relevant influential circles in the military and security spheres. Thus, it can be said, that the success of the soft power exerted by major powers in authoritarian states as Central Asian, primarily depends on the inter –elite ties between the states as well as on the decisions of their leadership and domestic actors which primarily prefer to bandwagon the stronger state for gaining certain benefits (in the case of CA states Russian’s support of the existing regime and economic benefits). Because, if we recall how Uzbekistan until 2005 showed more balanced behavior toward Russia (GUUAM, the agreement with NATO regarding their military presence in the region), after brutal crackdown on opposition groups and the American administration’s critiques of the Uzbek government for human right abuses, the leadership thought that aligning with Russia would be less of a threat. Consistently, we can observe how political decisions of weak states are influenced by their internal dynamics and their leadership’s preferences that can change their foreign policy, so that “the yesterday’s foe might become tomorrow’s friend”.