Director of the Visiting Fellows Programme
Anna Korhonen
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Eeva Korteniemi
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Location & Connections


Visiting Fellows 2015-2016

Akmal Sokhibov, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany  

“The International Counter Narcotics Policy of Russia After 2014 and the Western Sanctions against Russia”
(September-October 2015)

Akmal Sokhibov obtained a PhD degree at the Institute for Political Science, the University of Magdeburg in December 2014. His dissertation dealt with the d evelopment a id of Russia and the d rug p olicy in Afghanistan. It contained such sub-topics as the Afghan Statehood, Counter -Narcotics in Russia and Afghanistan, Development Aid of Soviet Union and Russia to Afghanistan, Economy of Violence and Drugs as well as Alternative Development in Afghanistan. The key research question of his thesis was: To what extent has the Afghan counter- narcotics policy been related to the development aid of Russia in Afghanistan? The main finding was that the limited development aid of Russia to Afghanistan was the result of a weak counter narcotics policy of the Afghan government. His recent article addresses the economic and political restraints for reducing the drug economy in Afghanistan. His main areas of interest are counter- narcotics and security policy in Russia, Central Asia and Afghanistan. 

Short description of ongoing research:
Akmal Sokhibov’s post-doctoral project is entitled The International Counter -Narcotics Policy of Russia After 2014 and the Western Sanctions against Russia. The project addresses the following central question: To what extent does the crisis in Ukraine, and the sanctions by the West, affect the counter- narcotics politics of Russia in Central Asia and Afghanistan after 2014? The research question is investigated based on academic texts, current reports, official statements and expert interviews conducted by Dr. Sokhibov. The literature reviewed contains topics like counter- narcotics, sanctions and international cooperation. The research results may demonstrate how Moscow’s counter- narcotics cooperation can be significant for international conflict management of the Ukraine crisis. The present-day opium production in Afghanistan confines the Kremlin to security-related measures in Central Asia and Afghanistan. To achieve some success in doing so, Russia relied on regional counter- narcotics cooperation with the USA, especially in Afghanistan. But the western sanctions towards Russia in 2014 impaired the international counter- narcotics cooperation of Russia both in Afghanistan and Latin America. This owes to the fact that the C hief of the Federal Drug Control Service found himself on the sanctions list of the USA. However, Russian counter- narcotics interventions are mostly militarized and conflict-laden supposing that powerful drug networks may challenge political stability and invoke ethnic conflicts in the drug trafficking states of Central Asia.

Dr. Sokhibov's visiting fellowship is supported by the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Russian studies - Choices of Russian Modernisation.

Email: sohibovakmal [at]

Academic hosts at the Aleksanteri Institute: Anna-Liisa Heusala and Markku Kangaspuro