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headlines from the caspian: january 4, 2022

Headlines from the Caspian: January 4, 2022

Author:Caspian Policy Center

Jan 4, 2022

Image source: Getty Images

Energy and Economy

Azerbaijan To Build Nine Substations in Liberated Shusha Region

Azerbaijan is slated to build nine 35 kV substations in its liberated Shusha region. According to the statement released by the company responsible for their implementation, six of the nine substations are currently under construction, while the remaining three are nearly complete. The nine substations are part of President Ilham Aliyev’s $1.5 billion plan to reconstruct the liberated territories.

Source: Azernews

Georgia and the United Arab Emirates Ink Agreement to Create a Free Trade Agreement

Georgia and the United Arab Emirates inked an agreement to initiate the process for establishing a free trade agreement between the two countries. The UAE would become the 47th country to have a free trade agreement with Georgia, if negotiations prove successful.

Source: Agenda.ge

Armenia Removes Ban on Turkish Imports

Armenia officially lifted its ban on Turkish imports, imposed during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War between Azerbaijan and Armenia. The six-month ban was enacted in December 2020 and was extended in June to last for a full year. A bill to further extend the expiration date on the ban was drafted but never addressed. The decision to lift the ban is expected to alleviate pressure placed on Armenia’s export industry.

Source: RFE/RL

First Uzbek-Kyrgyz Development Fund Meeting Held

Uzbekistan Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade Sardor Umurzakov chaired the first Uzbek-Kyrgyz Development Fund. The meeting discussed the Fund’s activities and financing of potential investment projects. The Fund serves to finance large-scale investment projects by attracting international financial institutions, commercial banks, and investment funds.

Source: UZ Daily

Fourth Azerbaijan Trade Department Debuts in China

The Azerbaijan Trade Department officially opened at the start of the new year in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. The Trade Department will market products to customers at the G-Hub shopping center under the “Made in Azerbaijan” brand. This is the fourth Azerbaijan Trade Department to open in China. There are currently three others operating in Shanghai, Harbin, and Jinan.

Source: Azernews

Centerra to Potentially Transfer Kumtor Gold Mine to Kyrgyzstan

Canadian gold mining company is in discussions to potentially transfer the Kumtor gold mine to Kyrgyzstan. Centerra has outlined the conditions it expects for it to transfer the subsidiaries Kumtor Gold Company and Kumtor Operating Company to state control and negotiations are ongoing.

Source: Fergana News Agency

Uzbekistan to Supply Afghanistan with $100 Million in Electricity

The National Electricity Grids of Uzbekistan and Afghan energy company Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat have signed a contract to transfer 2 billion kilowatt hours from Uzbekistan to Afghanistan. There was also discussion about the construction of a power transmission line.

Source: Fergana News Agency

Security and Politics

Members of the Commonwealth of Independent States Meet for an Informal Summit

The heads of state for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan (an associate member of the Commonwealth of Independent States) and Uzbekistan met in St. Petersburg. The main topics of conversation revolved around the COVID-19 pandemic and points of cooperation between countries.

Source: Astana Times

Georgian Parliament Elects Papuashvili as New Parliament Speaker

Shalva Papuashvili was elected to serve as the new speaker of the Georgian Parliament on December 29, 2021. Papuashvili received widespread support, earning 88 votes from members of Parliament. Papuashvili emphasized his intention to prioritize unity in the country and receive European Union membership.

Source: Agenda.ge

Demonstrations in Kazakhstan Over Energy Prices

In western Kazakhstan, hundreds of people demonstrated their frustration with the increased gas prices. President Tokayev urged people to abide by Kazakhstan’s laws and promised a package to manage the gas prices.

Source: RFE/RL

Kazakhstan Allocates $1.9 Million in Humanitarian Aid for Afghanistan

Kazakhstan allocated $1.9 million in humanitarian aid dedicated for hunger relief amidst dropping temperatures in Afghanistan. Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August, the United Nations has warned of rising food insecurity. The recent aid package from Kazakhstan included 155 tons of food and medicine.

Source: Caspian News

Kazakhstan Signs Law Banning the Death Penalty

President Tokayev signed a law abolishing the death penalty in Kazakhstan, subsequently amending the criminal code and constitution to reflect the change. Kazakhstan previously had a moratorium on the death penalty since 2003.

Source: Fergana News Agency

Turkmenistan Allegedly Clashes with Taliban

A clash reportedly occurred between Turkmenistan’s border guard and Taliban fighters. The Taliban’s provincial head reported that violence had occurred, however Turkmenistan denies any violence along the border.

Source: RFE/RL

(Sources: Agenda.ge, Astana Times, Azernews, Caspian News, Eurasianet, Fergana News Agency, RFE/RL, and UzDaily).

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