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The symbiotic relationships between Central Asia's leaders and Vladimir Putin are rearranging themselves as the war in Ukraine weakens Russia.   © Nikkei montage/Source photos by Getty Images
Asia Insight

Central Asia looks beyond Russia's orbit to secure its future

Jittery over Ukraine war, Kazakhstan and neighbors seek alternative export routes

PAUL BARTLETT, Contributing writer | Central Asia

ALMATY -- Tajik President Emomali Rahmon was bent on giving Russian President Vladimir Putin a piece of his mind.

At a summit in the Kazakh capital of Astana last month, Rahmon and Putin were seated around a circular table with other Central Asian leaders, separated by a large flower arrangement. The Tajik leader took aim at the Kremlin's inattention to "small republics" like his, the poorest of the Soviet successor states.

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