For Britain, as for other Atlanticists, Central Asia (CA) has long been an area of key interest. To some extent, this is due to the region’s significant mineral reserves, as well as its strategic location as a bridge between Europe and Southeast Asia. That is why in recent years the West has been particularly active in trying to prevent the restoration of Russia’s strategic presence here, using this important base to put pressure not only on Moscow, but also on Beijing.
Britain’s exit from the European Union initiated an additional revision of London’s political and diplomatic priorities in accordance with the previously announced directions and existing trends towards a shift of the global political agenda to Asia. And in this context, London expects to pay particular attention to strengthening its position in Central Asia.
Britain began developing its own program of cooperation with the countries of Central Asia long ago. Ten years ago, the British Parliament established a group on the region, consisting of more than twenty members of the House of Lords and the House of Commons, and its strategy was based on strengthening economic and political-military cooperation with Central Asian countries. According to Lord Sheikh, a member of the Central Asian group, a British businessman and member of the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom Parliament, “the time will come when the crisis is over and the vast amounts of energy resources that most Central Asian states possess will surely be in demand.”
As stated in London, the concept of the European Union in Central Asia, adopted in 2007 and then repeatedly revised, does not fully meet the interests of many EU countries, including Britain. Therefore, London prefers to follow its own program of work in the region, with a special emphasis on developing relations and cooperation with individual Central Asian states. All the more so since Britain has long been developing cooperation with Kazakhstan, a de facto regional leader in whose oil and gas sector British Petroleum (BP) and British Gas (BG) operate. Britain has also been looking at hydropower in Kyrgyzstan, and has even discussed the issue of supplying equipment for Kyrgyz hydropower plants.
Therefore, it is not surprising that Kazakhstan, in whose oil and gas sector London is making multi-billion dollar investments,