The developing conflict between Russia and Ukraine is sending shockwaves throughout the Central Asian region. Kazakhstan held an emergency meeting of its Security Council to discuss the possible impact of the Russia-Ukraine dispute. Sanctions on Russia could have detrimental consequences for Central Asian economies.
President Tokayev told the council to develop an anti-crisis plan to mitigate any potential military or economic effects of the confrontation between Russia and Ukraine.
The economic ramifications of escalating sanctions on Russia have the potential of further hurting other Central Asian economies. Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan all lean on remittances from workers in Russia to aid their economy. One in ten citizens from these three countries works in Russia, and according to World Bank Data, remittances constitute 28% of GDP for Kyrgyzstan, 30% for Tajikistan, and 12% for Uzbekistan. As the International Monetary Fund’s resident representative to the Kyrgyz Republic, Tigran Poghosyan told Al Jazeera, “A decline in remittances is likely to lead to economic, fiscal, and social pressures in Central Asian countries particularly dependent on remittances.”
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has enormous consequences for the Central Asian region. Any further developments could be impactful militarily and economically on account of the close ties between Central Asia and Russia.