Video On Demand

The War in Ukraine: Geopolitical Implications for Eurasia

April 12, 2022 • 9:30 – 10:30 am EDT

The geopolitical shockwaves from Russia's invasion of Ukraine continue to reverberate across Eurasia. Vulnerable to retaliation and uncertain of Western support, both regional powers like Turkey and the smaller states of the South Caucasus and Central Asia face complicated choices. For states whose economies are deeply integrated with Russia’s and reeling from COVID-related disruptions, Western sanctions impose an additional burden. A sharp reduction in Ukraine's forecasted grain harvest, combined with Russia’s own decision to ban grain exports to members of the Eurasian Economic Union, have raised concerns about food security. Furthermore, an influx of both Russian and Ukrainian migrants is creating new uncertainties from Antalya to Tashkent. In the South Caucasus, the Russian-brokered ceasefire over Nagorno-Karabakh is fraying while the de facto leaders of Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia call for annexation by Russia. Leaders in authoritarian Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan have sought to distance themselves from the invasion, while Kyrgyzstan's president Sadyr Japarov has made comments that appeared to support Russia. Turkey’s role is particularly complex, hosting both Russian dissidents and oligarchic yachts; sending arms to Ukraine but not imposing sanctions; and seeking to facilitate diplomacy between Moscow and Kyiv.

How will Russia's latest invasion of Ukraine shape political and security considerations across Eurasia? How will Eurasian states’ relationships with Russia and Russian-led multilateral institutions change? Finally, is there potential for the United States and its partners to rethink their approaches to the region and chart a new path?

This event is made possible through general support to CSIS.
Jeffrey Mankoff
Senior Associate (Non-Resident), Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program
Assistant Professor of International Relations, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
Senior Fellow and Director, Program on Central Asia, Harvard University