by Tomáš Šmíd (04/17/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
The Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation recently issued a press release with information on the budget implementation audit of the Chechen Republic. The audit has revealed errors and violations amounting to 7.9 billion rubles (ca. US$ 252 million). While it has not yet been stated whether the violations will be classified as crimes, the Chechen leadership will have to explain how they handle the federal budget funds. To make things more complicated, the question emerges at a time when debates at the federal level increasingly question whether federal subsidies for Chechnya should be retained.
by Dmitry Shlapentokh (04/17/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
China’s new President Xi Jinping has underlined the crucial importance of China’s relationship with Russia and proclaimed that Russia would be his first foreign destination. Yet, despite mutual assurances and common interests in some areas, China and Russia also increasingly compete in Central Asia, not least in their approaches to Kyrgyzstan. In 2012, Kyrgyz authorities signed several agreements with both Russia and China. Agreements with Russia primarily stress military strategic matters, while those with China emphasize economic ties that, barring major conflict in the area, will be more important than military help for Kyrgyzstan. Hence China, not the U.S. or Turkey, is emerging as Russia’s major competitor for influence in Kyrgyzstan.
by Eka Janashia (04/03/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
The most recent round of the Geneva Talks, held on March 27 in Switzerland, did not yield any concrete results but confirmed the continuity of negotiations under this format. The inability to reach a non-use-of-force agreement continues to be one of the most challenging issues preventing the participants, Georgia, Russia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, to overcome the deadlock in the discussions.
by Robert M. Cutler (04/03/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
The success of the recent summit between the Russian and Chinese presidents is significant not only for agreements reached between the two sides but also for the absence of disagreements over Central Asia. Speculation abounded after the Soviet break-up over possible Russo-Chinese competition; but by the time the U.S. military established a presence in Central Asia in support of Afghanistan operations, a Sino-Russian entente had begun to close over the region. Today Sino-Russian energy cooperation outside Central Asia and deepening political elite-level friendships signify the re-assertion of that bilateral entente as the U.S. diminishes its profile in Central Asia.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.