February 21, 2024
Kazakhstan has been a key partner for Turkey in the Turkic world, with relations that have been positive and expanding since independence. They have accelerated in recent years, with more institutionalized political relations, and ambition to further boost economic relations, and the continued role of Turkish soft power in Kazakhstan. In recent years, particularly after Turkey’s more active projection of military power abroad, military cooperation has also developed into an important element of Turkey-Kazakhstan relations.
January 19, 2024
Turkmenistan underwent a serious rapprochement with Russia in recent years, particularly after the establishment of a ruling tandem with Serdar Berdimuhamedow as a formal president and his father, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, who retained significant influence in Turkmenistan’s domestic and foreign policy. Due to a few viable alternatives, Russia represents the balancing factor for Turkmenistan towards the increasing Chinese influence over the country and the principal supporter of the regime. On the contrary, Turkmenistan remains a loyal partner in the region for Russia, where the most significant players (Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan) expressed their cautious approach towards Russia's advance in Ukraine.
By Svante E. Cornell
January 2, 2024
In January 2022, Kazakhstan experienced its most serious internal crisis since independence. Popular protests over energy costs turned into riots that in turn took on the shape of an attempted coup d’état that required President Tokayev to request support from the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Kazakhstan’s outlook appeared bleak. While some elements of the January events are still being investigated by the Kazakh law enforcement, the overall picture of what happened is clear. Overall, however, the events led to a gradual purge of older elements within the state institutions, a further distancing from Russia, and a redoubling of the overall reform process in the country.
By Svante E. Cornell
December 8, 2023
Kazakhstan has been deeply affected by the geopolitical turmoil across the region in the past several years, which threatened to undermine the viability of the country’s multi-vector, balanced foreign policy. But Kazakhstan’s leaders have stayed the course, which has for twenty years sought to balance relations with Russia through the expansion of ties with powers ranging from China to the U.S. and Europe. In recent years, Kazakhstan has also embraced regional cooperation in Central Asia, while strengthening ties with Turkey as well. The continued success of this approach remains crucial to the continued independence and stability of Central Asia as a whole.
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.