In-depth analysis of Lukashenko's visit to Dushanbe
The Belarus president visited Tajikistan and Kazakhstan in October. In comparison with the summits in Astana where Aleksandr Lukashenko made a number of bold statements and held several landmark meetings, his official visit to Dushanbe seemed like quite a mediocre event. No, multibillion-dollar contracts, global security issues and the war in Ukraine were not discussed there. At least in public. Nevertheless, this visit was not only an important event for Belarus-Tajikistan bilateral relations, but also a signal for other CIS countries. How so? The project After the Fact: Decisions of the First One offers the details.
Why is Tajikistan interesting for Belarus?
First, some background facts. Tajikistan is the smallest state in Central Asia in terms of territory. It borders on Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. Tajikistan has rich mineral resources. Deposits of uranium, gold, silver, tungsten, bismuth, as well as high-quality marble were discovered there during the Soviet years. But their extraction is difficult due to underdeveloped infrastructure. By the way, China is interested in all of it now. It is unlikely that any country can compete with China there.
Why is Tajikistan interesting for Belarus? This is a small market, but in need of a wide variety of goods. Furthermore, the market welcomes Belarusians with open arms. It is an opportunity to enter the Afghan market, which needs products even more.
Why is Belarus interesting for Tajikistan? No, not due to the wide range of available products. Although it is a factor. But primarily due to the country's attitude. Belarus does not consider Tajikistan as a country where you can sell your goods quickly and at a high price. For Belarus Tajikistan is an equal partner, with which one can trade and set up joint manufacturing ventures. And penetrate third-country markets together.