By Jakob Zenn (04/29/2015 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Central Asian governments are speaking openly about threats they face from the multiple security and economic crises surrounding their region. In November 2014, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev discussed in his annual address the region’s “worsening geopolitical context” with new crises in Ukraine, as well as in Syria and Iraq, the still unresolved “old” conflict in Afghanistan, and the negative impact on Central Asian economies resulting from Western sanctions on Russia. To counter these negative security and economic trends, Central Asian governments have adopted various approaches ranging from more progressive ones in Kazakhstan to stagnant or indecisive ones in other countries.
By Nurzhan Zhambekov (04/01/2015 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan face a tough year as oil prices plummet. A dramatic shift has occurred in the international oil market in recent months as oil supply has gone up, particularly with the U.S. oil production increase, and demand has weakened with the economic slowdown in China and the EU. Saudi Arabia, the world’s second largest oil producer, did not reduce its oil production despite the oil price decline, indicating that it would like to maintain its international oil market share. The precipitous decline in oil prices has resulted in a sharp fall in export revenues for Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, the third and second largest oil producers respectively in the former-Soviet Union after Russia. This dramatic price drop has put the two countries’ currencies under severe pressure.
KAZAKHSTAN AND THE EEU, by Dmitry Shlapentokh
U.S. NEW SILK ROAD INITIATIVE NEEDS URGENT RENEWAL, by Richard Weitz
IS “TURKISH STREAM” A SERIOUS THREAT TO THE TRANS-CASPIAN PIPELINE?, by Juraj Beskid, Tomáš Baranec
CASA-1,000 – HIGH VOLTAGE IN CENTRAL ASIA, by Franz J. Marty
KYRGYZSTAN’S RESIGNED PROSECUTOR-GENERAL GIVES WORRYING PRESS CONFERENCE, by Arslan Sabyrbekov
MOSCOW PLEDGES TO COUNTERACT GEORGIA’S INTEGRATION WITH NATO, by Eka Janashia
ARMENIA TOUGHENS ITS STANCE AGAINST TURKEY, by Erik Davtyan
FOREIGN MINISTERS OF TURKEY, AZERBAIJAN AND TURKMENISTAN DISCUSS ENERGY AND TRANSPORTATION IN ASHGABAT, by Tavus Rejepova
By Dmitry Shlapentokh (03/04/2015 issue of the CACI Analyst)
January 2015 marked the beginning of a new relationship between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus bound together by the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Yet the emerging friction between Astana and Moscow indicates the pitfalls of the EEU as a project, at least as conceptualized by the Kremlin. In August 2014, Kazakhstan’s and Russia’s leaderships engaged in an exchange of cold remarks. Through late fall (October-November 2014), Russian politicians and journalists discussed the suffering of Russians in Northern Kazakhstan and Russia’s responsibility for their situation. As the EEU was finally inaugurated, economic and geopolitical tensions between Astana and Moscow continued, indicating the EEU’s economic and geopolitical instability.
By Richard Weitz (01/22/2015 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Kazakhstan stands out in Central Asia and the South Caucasus for its government’s activist diplomacy directed at building institutions, promoting disarmament, and reducing Eurasian conflicts. Astana has sought to ban nuclear tests globally and extend confidence-building mechanisms throughout Asia, and Kazakhstan’s past conflict resolution efforts have addressed Iran, water disputes, and Afghanistan. Kazakhstan’s current mediation effort concerns the Ukraine conflict. Kazakhstan’s recurring challenge, which may disrupt its Ukrainian efforts, is that its ability to resolve disputes is limited in the absence of supporting partners.
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.