Sergei Karaganov, chairman of the Council for Foreign and Defense Policy, considers a union of Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan no longer possible, even on a strictly non-military basis. He believes that Ukraine's interests are such as to rule out talk of a shared position. Karaganov also thinks that the main shared interest of Russia and Kazakhstan is in the creation of a unified economic area, not in the development of democracy.
Karaganov believes that Russia and Kazakhstan must make every effort to avoid descending into the 'zone of fallen states.' He considers such states to include the greater Middle East, post-Soviet Central Asia and the countries of the Caucasus. These states have no future and are doomed to a worsening of conditions and to further falling behind, Karaganov asserted.
He emphasized that Russia stands 'at the edge' and thus a desire to improve makes an appropriate basis for Russia and Kazakhstan to work together. He also said analysis should precede talk about common national interests. The main thing now, he said, is the preservation of democratic gains and maintenance of the economic situation.