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About the Speech: In his address to the IIEA, Dr. Melvin argued that Central Asia is becoming a focal point of interest for both Russia and China, while the European Union has become an increasingly marginal player in the region. With China aiming to establish Central Asia as the pivot of its new continental strategy for Eurasia, and Russia looking to extend its twin projects of economic and security integration further into the region, Central Asia is becoming a key part of the fast emerging multipolar international order. Dr. Melvin also explained why developments in the region highlight the need to redefine European foreign and security policy, if the EU is to fulfil its ambition to become a stronger global actor in an increasingly challenging international environment.
About the Speaker: Dr. Neil Melvin is Director of the Armed Conflict and Conflict Management Programme at SIPRI, where his particular focus is on security and conflict issues in Eurasia. Prior to joining SIPRI he held Senior Adviser positions in the Energy Charter Secretariat and at the OSCE. He has also worked in several leading policy institutes in Europe. Dr. Melvin has published widely on the international politics of Central Asia, Russia, and the Caucasus. He is currently conducting a three year EU supported study of the conflicts of the Caucasus region.