Paper Title
The Strategic Importance of Central Asia for Russia and China

This paper argues that cooperation between Russia and China in Central Asia is one of the important aspects of their bilateral relations and how the Ukrainian war affected it. Because Russia has always known China as a rival in Central Asia. However, the Ukrainian crisis showed that Russia needs China more than before. This can be learned from negotiations in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization or other organizations. The initial motivation for this cooperation was limitation of the Western influence in the region, primarily of the USA. Somehow, Russian-Chinese interaction in Central Asia is not limited to opposition to the “third party” and includes such important aspects as maintenance of regional security and equilibrium of interests in different spheres of economic ties. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) became a useful platform in monitoring of these diverse interests, though declarations sometimes prevail over practical deeds. The forthcoming withdrawal of the Coalition troops from Afghanistan will increase the responsibility of the SCO in terms of the international security in “Broad Central Asia.” Keywords - Central Asia, Ukraine Crisis, Strategic Partnership, International Security, Economic Cooperation, SCO