Blinken warns Central Asia of dangers from war in Ukraine

The Biden administration on Tuesday pledged to support the independence of the five Central Asian nations in a not-so-subtle warning to the former Soviet states that Russia’s value as a partner has been badly compromised by its year-old war against Ukraine.

In Kazakhstan for a series of meetings with top Central Asian diplomats, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said no country, particularly those that have traditionally been in Moscow’s orbit, can afford to ignore the threats posed by Russian aggression to not only their territory but to the international rules-based order and the global economy. 

In all of his discussions, Blinken stressed the importance of respect for “sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.”

The Central Asian states have hewed to a studied position of neutrality on Ukraine, neither supporting Russia’s invasion nor U.S. and Western condemnations of the war.