Media Highlights of the Week
Security & Politics
Kazakhstan to Host OSCE Meeting on Afghanistan
The permanent representatives of members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will travel to Nur Sultan in the fall for a special meeting on solving problems in Afghanistan. Kazakh Foreign Minister announced the meeting during an OSCE ministerial meeting in Slovakia last week. He added that the meeting will increase the involvement of the OSCE in rehabilitating Afghanistan.
Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan Prepare for High-Level Meetings
Turkmenistan’s Foreign Minister met with Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to Turkmenistan on July 13 to discuss organizing high-level visits. The representatives also discussed the activities of the joint intergovernmental Turkmen-Kazakh commission on economic, scientific, technical, and cultural cooperation and the growth of trade between their countries.
Turkey Receives First Planes with S-400 Components
Eight Russian planes equipped with the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system arrived in Ankara on July 15. Turkey has now officially become the first NATO member to receive the S-400 air defense system.
Russia’s Caspian Flotilla Carries out Live Fire Drills
More than 30 warships and support vessels belonging to the Caspian Flotilla kicked off a week-long combat training drill on July 15. The drills, which are being held in Astrakhan and Dagestan, involve more than 150 pieces of hardware and over 1,500 personnel. The exercises tested a new control system that unites air, land, and sea forces in one information corridor for the time.
President of Azerbaijan Meets with European Council Head
President of the European Council Donald Tusk met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on July 10. Azerbaijan and the European Council signed a Partnership Priorities document last year and are currently negotiating a new agreement. The two sides discussed these negotiations along with other issues of bilateral cooperation, regional development, and regional security.
Tajikistan Holds Joint Military Drill with China in Pamir Region
Tajikistan has announced that it will conduct another round of joint military exercises in the Pamir region with China’s military. Drills will be conducted in the Ishkashim district of the Gorno-Badakshan Autonomous Region along the Afghan border. This drill comes a little under three years after the last drill, held in October of 2016. Russia has not raised any complaints about this, even though this is counter to the general ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ they have with China.
Energy & Economy
EU is the Biggest Investor in Azerbaijan’s Oil and Non-Oil Sectors
According to the 2019 edition of the EU Business Climate Report Azerbaijan, the EU is the biggest partner of Azerbaijan in the trade sphere. “The EU share in Azerbaijan’s trade was 41.7 percent in 2018,” reads the report. “The EU is the biggest export (54.3 percent) and import (20.3 percent) market for Azerbaijan.”
Shah Deniz 2 Recognized with Academy’s Major Project Award
The engineers behind the Shah Deniz 2 project have received the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Major Project Award for 2019 for their collaboration to deliver the complex project. The award was presented at the Academy Awards Dinner in London on July 11.
Kyrgyzstan to Host Eurasian Week 2019 in September
The Eurasian Week 2019, the largest international business forum in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), will be held in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek from 25 to 27 September. This year the forum will be held under the motto “EAEU: Consolidation. Development. Strength.” It will discuss the five-year results of the EAEU Treaty and new areas of integration, cooperation with the Eastern partners and export opportunities, and development of measures to reduce vulnerability to global economic turbulence.
EBRD Supports Expansion of Kazakhstan Food Producer RG Brands
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting the expansion of RG Brands, a Kazakhstan-based manufacturer of food and beverages. An EBRD local currency loan will finance the acquisition of at least 6,800 cooling display units with reduced electricity consumption and an environmentally friendly refrigerant.
Foreign Companies to Modernize HPPs in Uzbekistan
On July 10, the management of the U.S. General Electric company Uzbekhydroenergo and the Spanish company Group Cobra have held a meeting about mutual cooperation in the field of construction and modernization of hydropower facilities. At the meeting, the parties signed a memorandum of cooperation, which aims to introduce modern technologies in the process of building and modernizing hydropower plants in Uzbekistan.
Kyrgyzstan to Host OSCE Central Asia Media Conference
The 21st annual Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) Central Asia Media Conference will be held in Bishkek on July 17-18 – focusing on media freedom and pluralism in times of digital transformation. During the two-day event, over 100 participants from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Mongolia, will discuss the possibilities and challenges arising from new media technologies.
Turkmenistan and Italy Mull Business Partnership Prospects
Turkmen Foreign Ministry hosted a meeting with Vice President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies Ettore Rosato on July 9. Representatives discussed prospects for the development of Turkmen-Italian cooperation in the fields of politics, trade, and economics. The parties also considered the issue of enhancing interaction between the business circles of the two countries.
Uzbekistan Government Invites Applications for 5G Deployment
The Uzbekistan Ministry of ICT has invited operators, ISPs, and telecommunications equipment providers to submit proposals for the deployment of 5G networks in the country. The proposals include the testing scheme of the 5G networks and information about the equipment to be used – including information on suppliers and producers of equipment and services.
(Sources: Afghanistan Times, AKIPress, Astana Times, AzerNews, Belarus News, Bloomberg, Central Asia News, Eurasianet, Kun.uz, Navy Recognition, News.Am, News.Az, Tolo News, The Times of Central Asia, Trend News Agency, and Uzreport.uz.)