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.

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Enchanting but distant Tajikistan says it is ready for increased co-operation with Europe

Enchanting but distant Tajikistan says it is ready for increased co-operation with Europe

At a recent promotion forum in Brussels senior Tajik officials emphasised that their country was business friendly and tourist welcoming. Young and eager Tajik entrepreneurs also highlighted that both country and society were ready for qualitative step-change in relations with Europe. On its part the EU has signalled it is ready to increase co-operation with the strategically located country, including through enhanced partnership agreements.
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Tokayev sets the date for constitutional referendum that promises to hail a new era for Kazakhstan

Tokayev sets the date for constitutional referendum that promises to hail a new era for Kazakhstan

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan announced Thursday (5 May) that on 5 June, a constitutional referendum will take place. The referendum will ask voters to approve an overhauled constitution that the government say will launch Kazakhstan’s Second Republic. To modernize Kazakhstan, Tokayev will need to implement deep-rooted reforms to institute substantial reforms, in practice and not merely in a declaratory fashion as was the habit with his predecessor. The constitutional changes are seen as a good start, but can certainly not be the end of the story if the promise of a new Kazakhstan is to be delivered.

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Opinion
Opinion: Sanctions will weaken Russia's role as a transit route from Europe to China and increase the importance of the "middle corridor"

Opinion: Sanctions will weaken Russia's role as a transit route from Europe to China and increase the importance of the "middle corridor"

"The sanctions imposed on the Russian economy will have a significant impact on Russia, limiting its ability to conduct foreign trade relations, which will in turn affect its position as a main transit country in Eurasia", writes Orkhan Baghirov in this op-ed. "Within the new geo-political realities, the Middle Corridor can emerge the winner, and can become the main land route in Eurasia. It will in turn strengthen the political and economic position of the participating states, including Azerbaijan, Turkey, and the Central Asian countries, all of who aspire to become regional transportation hubs".
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Central Asian countries feel impact of sanctions against Russian aviation

Central Asian countries feel impact of sanctions against Russian aviation

The impact of the sanctions on the Russian aviation sector is having far-reaching consequences for countries in Central Asia. Millions of people from Central Asia are in Russia as migrant workers and the disruption in aviation is making their travel back to their home countries difficult. Among them are 2.2 million Uzbeks who live and work in Russia. Remittances from Uzbek migrants in Russia constitute 12% of Uzbekistan's National GDP. Regular flights from Russia to Uzbekistan have been cancelled, Smartavia and iFly, two Russian carriers, have suspended all flights to Uzbekistan and flights that are still operating have more than doubled in price. As an aviation specialist for Uzbekistan said, “After the sanctions, not a single such aircraft landed on the territory of Uzbekistan. The reason is very simple - they remained uninsured.” Uninsured aircraft are prohibited from flying. Millions of migrants are now left without a crucial air bridge to their homeland. International sanctions on finance are already causing currency crises in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The impact of sanctions on the aviation sector further highlights the cost of Russian actions in the Central Asian region.