NATO’s engagement with Kazakhstan and Central Asia – post-summit, post-ISAF
On Thursday, 9th of October three NATO delegates from NATO Central Asia and NATO headquarters were at KIMEP to participate in a meeting and hold a presentation about NATO’s cooperation with Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries.
Whereas the presentation itself was open to everyone, who was interested, the meeting that took place earlier was only attended by some KIMEP representatives.
The goals of this meeting from our side were to get a tighter relationship between NATO and KIMEP, make NATO more visible in our university and get some financial support. On the other hand NATO is interested in helping to stock up the library and create “NATO corners”, either physically on campus or virtual. Along with this, they would like to provide a platform to create a network of likeminded.
There were no decisions taken on how exactly to reach these goals, but this meeting was definitely the first step to build up a stronger relationship between KIMEP and NATO.
In the first of three short, but substantial presentations, Mr Alexander Vinnikov, NATO liaison officer and head of office in Central Asia gave the audience an overview of NATO’s partners in Central Asia. He explained that partnerships are always based on either a common goal or a common threat, such as narcotics and identified, which are the main areas of NATO support, such as political dialogue or training.
Furthermore, he spoke about the ending of the ISAF-project and what NATO’s further short-term and long-term plans for Afghanistan are. That is to say, to build up good neighborly relations and stabilize Afghanistan as a country.
Mrs Despina Afentouli, Programme Officer for Partnerships in NATO headquarters thereupon informed the listeners about the most important functions of NATO, i.e. collective defense, cooperative security and crisis management. Also, she explained that many countries would like to join NATO, because being part of NATO means stability and progress and in case of threats fast help from the other NATO members.
Mrs Tanya Hartman, Officer for Kazakhstan, Political Affairs and Security Policy Division in NATO headquarters talked about what NATO is doing in Kazakhstan and how dialogue happens between country representatives, as well as between NATO and citizens in order to get a complete picture of the situation in the country.
The three speakers held their presentation with a lot of enthusiasm and at the same time showed great expertise in their fields, also when it came to answering questions from the audience at the end of the presentation section.