Four Eurasian Connectivity Corridors Were Discussed At The Kremlin On Thursday

The four projects that were brought up are the Middle Corridor, the North-South Transport Corridor, the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Uzbekistan railway, and the Zangezur Corridor.

Thursday didn’t just see three nuclear-related news items appear on the same day, but also discussions at the Kremlin about four Eurasian connectivity corridors too. The first was already interpreted in the analysis hyperlinked to in the preceding sentence, while the second will be analyzed in the present piece. The four projects that were brought up are the Middle Corridor (MC), the North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC), the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Uzbekistan (PAKAFUZ) railway, and the Zangezur Corridor (ZC).

Each of them was talked about during the expanded meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council that took place at the Grand Kremlin Palace. Kazakh President Tokayev suggested developing the first two, the MC and NSTC, in conjunction with one another. His Uzbek counterpart Mirziyoyev, meanwhile, invited the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) to join PAKAFUZ’s construction. Finally, the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders agreed on a regional connectivity corridor but still disagree over what to call it.

These four projects are complementary in the sense that they all advance the shared goal of Eurasia’s economically driven multipolar integration, which will ultimately bring tangible benefits to these country’s people in parallel with strengthening their sovereignty and reducing divide-and-rule threats. The more closely integrated each of them becomes with one another, the less likely it is that any of them will unilaterally risk disrupting trade along these routes at the behest of a third party like the US.

They all need one another since Eurasia can’t be successfully integrated without all these countries’ equal participation. This includes not just those that were already referenced in this piece, but also China, India, Iran, and Turkiye, as well as the three remaining Central Asian Republics (CARs). Georgia can also play a positive role via the MC, which is more likely than ever considering its leadership’s pragmatic stance towards the New Cold War by refusing to open up a “second front” against Russia.

What’s most important at this moment is for them to continue cooperating in pursuit of this grand strategic goal, though crucially without any of them pressuring the other nor submitting to Western pressure to sanction Russia. The first caveat is relevant for Armenian-Azerbaijani relations, Russia’s with the CARs, and Sino-Indo relations, while the second concerns the G7’s plot to turn the CARs against Moscow through a combination of coercion and incentives.

That said, each party appears to finally recognize that unilateral actions – whether carried out on their own prerogative or due to Western influence of some sort – would be detrimental to everyone’s interests, hence why there are reasons for cautious optimism. This is especially the case when it comes to Armenian-Azerbaijani relations, which are improving throughout the course of their peace process and especially after their leaders’ latest meeting in Moscow.

America is adamantly opposed to Eurasian integration since the collective economic power of these countries easily neutralizes the West’s prior dominance of the world system, which is why it’s to be expected that the US will continue trying to divide-and-rule them through increasingly creative means. Nevertheless, Thursday’s discussions show that all stakeholders are serious about moving forward with their plans, which could lead to plenty of progress being made in the coming future.

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