Region

Central Asia

Stories under this heading cover Central Asia – a region of Asia, stretching from the Caspian Sea in the west to Mongolia in the east, from Afghanistan in the south to Russia in the north.

A new sense of purpose in Central Asia as leaders seek better relations between their countries and with the rest of the world
For more than three decades after the collapse of the USSR the five Central Asia Republics continued to live largely in the shadow of Moscow.  Neighbouring China made headway, particularly in the economic sphere, largely with Moscow’s acquiescence, and there were a few moments when the west appeared to be making a mark on the region too, especially after the 9/11 attacks, when the US was allowed facilities to help with its invasion of Afghanistan. But this moment did not last long. On everything else that mattered, and for most of the time, Moscow continued to call the shots. The last five years have seen a seismic change in the region. A new generation of leaders are seeking better relations with the rest of the world: connectivity has become a buzzword, and there is a genuine effort to engage with the EU and the US, in most if not all the capitals. Ukraine, and the implications of the Russian invasion on future relations with all the post Soviet states, has focused minds, particularly in Tashkent and Astana.
patrickn97 Tue, 02/07/2023 - 17:32 Uzbekistan foreign trade turnover up nearly 20%, Turkmenistan gains

Uzbekistan's foreign trade turnover as a whole exceeded $50bn in 2022, an increase of 18.6% or $7.8bn compared to 2021. 

Russia remains Uzbekistan's largest foreign trading partner, constituting $9.2bn - or just under 20% - of Uzbekistan's foreign trade in 2022.

Neighbours Turkmenistan, who for many years have been one of the most economically isolated countries in the world, has also seen its trade with Uzbekistan increase.

patrickn97 Fri, 02/03/2023 - 13:14

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A new sense of purpose in Central Asia as leaders seek better relations between their countries and with the rest of the world
For more than three decades after the collapse of the USSR the five Central Asia Republics continued to live largely in the shadow of Moscow.  Neighbouring China made headway, particularly in the economic sphere, largely with Moscow’s acquiescence, and there were a few moments when the west appeared to be making a mark on the region too, especially after the 9/11 attacks, when the US was allowed facilities to help with its invasion of Afghanistan. But this moment did not last long. On everything else that mattered, and for most of the time, Moscow continued to call the shots. The last five years have seen a seismic change in the region. A new generation of leaders are seeking better relations with the rest of the world: connectivity has become a buzzword, and there is a genuine effort to engage with the EU and the US, in most if not all the capitals. Ukraine, and the implications of the Russian invasion on future relations with all the post Soviet states, has focused minds, particularly in Tashkent and Astana.
patrickn97 Tue, 02/07/2023 - 17:32
Uzbekistan foreign trade turnover up nearly 20%, Turkmenistan gains

Uzbekistan's foreign trade turnover as a whole exceeded $50bn in 2022, an increase of 18.6% or $7.8bn compared to 2021. 

Russia remains Uzbekistan's largest foreign trading partner, constituting $9.2bn - or just under 20% - of Uzbekistan's foreign trade in 2022.

Neighbours Turkmenistan, who for many years have been one of the most economically isolated countries in the world, has also seen its trade with Uzbekistan increase.

patrickn97 Fri, 02/03/2023 - 13:14
EU and Uzbekistan officials meet to discuss ties, promise to expand cooperation
The Uzbek Minister of Investments, Industry and Trade Laziz Qudratov hosted the head of the delegation of the EU in Uzbekistan Charlotte Adriaen on Monday (30 January) to discuss ways to advance bilateral ties in trade, economic and investment spheres. The parties explored the opportunities for expanding the main areas of bilateral financial and technical cooperation, and discussed the EU's Multi-Annual Indicative Programme for Uzbekistan (MIP), the implementation of which has been allocated €76m for the period 2021-2024. Additional funds for the same time frame were also earmarked for Human Rights support (€3.6m), and Civil Society Organisation (€3.4m). The MIP 2021-2027 has three main priorities, namely effective governance and digital transformation; inclusive, digital and green growth, and the development of a smart eco-friendly agri-food sector.
patrickn97 Wed, 02/01/2023 - 12:14
Opinion: Kazakhstan’s "Yurts of Invincibility" are more than just a humanitarian initiative for Ukraine

In early January 2023, amid the freezing temperatures and power blackouts of Bucha - the Kyiv suburb now infamous for it being the location of Russian massacres of Ukrainian civilians in early 2022 - there popped up a Kazakh yurt where residents were served free traditional Kazakh food and tea, could keep warm and could charge their electronic devices. Soon after, another yurt appeared in downtown Kyiv.

patrickn97 Tue, 01/24/2023 - 09:56
Kazakhstan tightens entrance rules for citizens of EEU countries, including Russia

Kazakhstan has announced that they will tighten entrance rules for citizens of countries of the Eurasian Economic Union, including Russians.

A draft resolution adopted on 31 December, published on Tuesday (17 January), and which will become effective on 27 January will restrict citizens of countries of the Eurasian Economic Union to 90 days visa-free in Kazakhstan within any 180-day period.

patrickn97 Wed, 01/18/2023 - 13:25
Kazakh and Azerbaijani leaders visit UAE for Abu Dhabi sustainability summit

The Presidents of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Ilham Aliyev, have both addressed the opening ceremony of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week summit as the UAE leads up to COP28 later this year.

In his speech on Monday (16 January), President Tokayev of Kazakhstan spoke about his country's commitment to achieving climate neutrality.

patrickn97 Tue, 01/17/2023 - 11:02
Kazakhstan to withdraw from currency agreement with Russia

The government of Kazakhstan has announced that it intends to withdraw from a 1995 agreement on measures to ensure the mutual convertiblity and stabilisation of exchange rates of the Russian ruble and Kazakh tenge.

patrickn97 Tue, 01/10/2023 - 13:56
Kazakh aviation sees increased passenger numbers and more international destinations in 2022

Kazakhstan saw a steady increase in both domestic and international air travel in 2022.

patrickn97 Fri, 01/06/2023 - 19:02
Kazakhstan looks back at a difficult 2022, determined to pursue change and reform in 2023
For the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan, this year has probably been the most difficult one since its independence in 1991. Yet the country has emerged from it stronger. The process of reform initiated by President Kassym Jomart Tokayev appears to be gathering momentum, despite resistance from parts of the ruling elite still associated with the country’s first president Nursultan Nazarbayev. On Thursday, 29 December, Tokayev addressed the Kazakh Senate in the capital, Astana, where he summed up the year’s results. “This year, the country has been through a lot, but we managed to overcome all difficulties,” said the President. Tokayev paid particular attention to preserving stability and security, and paving the way for the dynamic development of the state is a priority for Kazakhstan. The reforms in all spheres will be continued into the following year. In early January Kazakhstan faced an unprecedented upheaval, initially triggered by price rises, but which soon got hijacked by elements close to the previous president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who were unhappy with the reforms being implemented, and most of all with the clampdown on corruption which had started to affect them. At this point Nazarbayev still held control over several leverages of power, including as Head of the Security Council and as President of the ruling party. The disturbances were contained but at considerable human and material costs.
dennis2020 Fri, 12/30/2022 - 07:07