An integrated Kazakhstan-Russian AA defense system (Air Defense system) is required to protect both countries from possible superpower threats. A former Vice-Minister of Defense of Kazakhstan Amirbek Togusov shared his opinion on the new development with a Tengrinews reporter.
The former Vice-Minister thinks that the integrated AA defense project serves the mutual interest of the two countries. For Russia, in Togusov’s opinion, this system reduces extraterritorial threats. For Kazakhstan, It is beneficial because Russia has a more up-to-date AA defense system.
According to Togusov, threats can potentially arise against the background of energy issues. “Oil and gas are very significant now. In 15-20 years there will be water shortages. This makes our land is a 'honeypot'. These riches require safety, preservation and protection. (…) Here I mean superpowers like the USA, China, Europe and NATO coalition, first of all. We solve many issue diplomatically, nevertheless when it comes to natural resources, there may be problems of a different kind,” said Togusov.
Amirbek Togusov. Photo courtesy of rus.azattyq.org
He also noted the advantage of AA in the light of terrorist threats. Togusov thinks that conflicts connected with terrorism will take the form of asymmetric wars with disguised and unexpected acts. However, the terrorist will aim to seize control of air defense facilities. Besides, they will be focusing on energy facilities. The former Deputy Minister reminded that Kazakhstan was planing to build a nuclear power plant. He believes that the A plant will also attract terrorist groups.
Marat Shibutov, a representative of the Boarder Cooperation Association of Kazakhstan, agrees that integrated AA defense system is beneficial for both countries. “First of all this relieves us from spending money on developing our own AA defense system. At the same time, it is beneficial for Russia, because we are located near two important Russian regions – the West Siberian oil basin and the Ural industrial district,” said Shibutov.
Marat Shibutov. ©Yaroslav Radlovsky
He added that the integrated AA defense system could be put to a good use in case of armed conflicts in other countries. "The probability of an Indochinese or an Indo-Pakistani conflict is high. Iran can start a war with someone... No one wants to risk being hit by a stray missile," he explained.
The Russian government has approved creation of the Integrated AA defense system with Kazakhstan in October 2013. The agreement was signed in January 2013 at the meeting of the Defense Ministers of Russia and Kazakhstan.
Photo courtesy of the press-service of Kazakhstan's Defense Ministry