The European Union (EU) is one of the key economic and political partners of the countries of Central Asia (CA). The EU adopted two strategies toward CA and acts through partnership and cooperation agreements. The recent geopolitical crisis in Eurasia improved bilateral relations between the regions. The EU reconsidered its CA strategy. The paper aims to analyze the current accelerated rapprochement between the EU and CA. Its main findings are as follows. First, bilateral trade between the regions became less diversified, increasing risks for Central Asia as trade became an important political tool. Second, the EU-CA strategic rapprochement will require institutional reforms in Central Asia, while for now, the EU pursues its geopolitical and economic goals in the region.
KEYWORDS: Central Asia, European Union, International trade, Geopolitics, Energy cooperation.
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