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.

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

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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
Uzbekistan sends first cargo train to Europe through "the middle corridor"

Uzbekistan's state-owned railway company Temir Yullari has announced that for the first time, a cargo train carrying copper concentrate has been sent from Uzbekistan to Europe via the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, also known as the Middle Corridor.

This route bypasses Russia, and offers Uzbekistan and other Central Asian countries an alternative connection to European markets.

Maximiliaan va… Tue, 12/20/2022 - 15:16
EU seeks new enhanced partnership agreement with Tajikistan as it pursues a more assertive role in Central Asia
The Council of the European Union on 8 December adopted guidelines for the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to negotiate, on behalf of the EU and its member states, a new Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA) with Tajikistan. Tajikistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia. It has an area of 143,100 km2 and an estimated population of 9,749,625 people. It is bordered by Afghanistan to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east. Like other Central Asian republics, Tajikistan is currently seeking to diversify its international relations, including by strengthening its relations with the European Union. A statement posted on the website of the Council of the European Union said that the EU is determined to deepen its relations with the Central Asian countries, even more so in the current geopolitical environment. The negotiation of an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Tajikistan will be a significant step forward in this regard. It will provide a platform for improved political cooperation, trade and investment between the EU and Tajikistan, incentivising and supporting reforms. Progress in these negotiations will also depend on tangible improvements in Tajikistan’s human rights situation, including with regard to the freedom of expression, media and assembly.
dennis2020 Tue, 12/13/2022 - 15:31
Problem? What problem?
Vladimir Putin attended the summit of the Eurasian Economic Union that was held in Bishkek on Friday (9 December), and was upbeat afterwards when addressing a press conference before he departed back for Moscow. Answering questions from mainly Russian journalists Putin shrugged off all concerns, and expressed satisfaction with the performance of the Russian economy, the Russian Army and the Russian judicial system.  Perhaps the most striking comment came when Putin was asked about the war in Ukraine, which he insists on calling a "special operation". "The special operation is going on normally, everything is stable there with us - there are no questions there and there are no problems today. As you can see, the Ministry of Defense is behaving quite transparently. Everything that happens in reality, on the ground, everything is reflected in the daily reports of the Ministry of Defense. So everything is actually objective and the situation is, I have nothing to add here. As for the settlement process as a whole, yes, it will probably not be easy and will take some time. But one way or another, all participants in this process will have to agree with the realities that are taking shape on the ground." The summit brought together the leaders of Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia. A number of agreements were also signed by the five countries during the summit. The next formal summit will be held in Moscow in the Spring. But Mr Putin, always keen to keep his allies in his sight, will be meeting the leaders of the EEAS countries together with those of the other CIS countries in St Petersburg before New Year.
dennis2020 Sat, 12/10/2022 - 06:25