«It is very important for Central Asia to get some benefit from One Belt One Road project and not to be only a corridor for the exchange of goods between Europe and Asia,» said Boris Yaroshevich, Head of the Central Asia Department of the European External Action Service.
According to him, in 2017, the European Union decided to update the strategy of cooperation with Central Asia. It is expected that the new strategy will be adopted in 2019 and it will correspond to the current realities. In addition, a month ago, the EU published a strategy of connectivity between Europe and Asia.
We see an increased interest in Central Asia. It is associated with the new initiative of China One Belt One Road and the Eurasian Economic Union. In the new strategy, Central Asia plays and will play a key role.Boris Yaroshevich
«Central Asia should not only be a corridor for the exchange of goods, but also give added value to them. Do not forget about the services. In addition, connectivity is not only the East — West and North — South corridors, but also access to the sea through Afghanistan. Interest in Central Asia is also related to Afghanistan, the conflict in this country and the role of Central Asian countries in peace negotiations,» Boris Yaroshevich stressed.
As for the new strategy of EU cooperation with Central Asia, the emphasis in it was made on solving the regional problems and developing connectivity and cooperation within the region.
«Five years ago, Central Asia was considered as a source of problems. But now we see that there are answers to difficult questions, that Central Asia is not so much a problem but an example for other regions of the world when it comes to cooperation in the field of water resources,» he summed up.