Headlines from the Caspian: June 28, 2022
Author: Caspian Policy Center
Jun 28, 2022
Energy and Economy
Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkey Host Trilateral Discussion on Trade
The “First Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers Responsible for the Transport Sectors of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkiye” took place on June 27. The ministers discussed different joint projects, including railways and oil pipelines, and explored ways to increase the volume of trade that passes through their countries, paying special attention to the Trans Caspian International Trade Corridor.
Tokayev addressed global challenges during BRICS+ Summit
Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev took part in a High-level Dialogue on Global Development on June 24 during the 14th BRICS Summit held under China’s chairmanship. Tokayev spoke about Kazakhstan's commitments to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, addressed the global food crisis and expressed willingness to employ the country’s huge agricultural potential.
Source: The Times of Central Asia
Turkmenistan Airlines will Restart Regular Moscow Flights
Turkmenistan Airlines will resume regular flights to Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport on July 5. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, there have been fewer than ten flights in the past three months between Ashgabat and Moscow. The relaunch is said to be a result of easing the Covid-19 restrictions.
Armenia to go Cash-Free
In an effort to battle the shadow economy, Armenia’s parliament passed a new law on June 9th, requiring all big purchases to be made electronically, either through a mobile payment app or via a wire transfer at a bank. Currently, the law affects business transactions of more than $720 and transactions between individuals of more than $1,200.
EU, UNODC, and Kyrgyz Launch 8 Million Euro Project to Support Justice Sector Reform
On June 22, the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in partnership with the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, held a kick-off event for “Justice for All” - a program to support reforms in Kyrgyzstan’s justice system. The EU-UNODC joint program will work on improving access to justice and the rule of law. The program will be implemented from 2022 until the end of the year 2025.
World Bank to Allocate $50 Million to Kyrgyzstan’s Energy Sector
The World Bank announced that it is allocating $50 million dollars to Kyrgyzstan’s energy sector, half in the form of a grant and half in the form of a 38-year loan with a .75 percent interest rate. The funds are designated for the modernization and digitalization of distribution networks, strengthening of social safety nets, and developing energy sector reforms.
Source Fergana News Agency
Security and Politics
EU Offers Georgia Membership “Perspective”, but not Candidacy
In a landmark June 23 decision, the European Union endorsed the European Commission’s recommendation to extend EU candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova, while offering Georgia a roadmap to qualify for the same status. Recognizing Georgia’s “European perspective”, the Commission’s President made it clear that there were priorities specified in the Commission’s opinion on Georgia’s membership application that would need to be addressed. EU’s decision triggered a wave of pro-EU demonstrations in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi.
Vladimir Putin to Embark on First Foreign Trip to Tajikistan and Turkmenistan since Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine
On June 27, the Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to make his first foreign trip since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to Tajikistan, followed by Turkmenistan. Putin will meet with the Tajik President Emomali Rahmon in Dushanbe. On June 29, Putin is expected to attend the Caspian Summit in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, alongside with the leaders of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Iran.
Uzbek Constitutional Amendments to Change Status of Karakalpakstan, Term Limits
Constitutional amendments initiated by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev will annul the current right of the Karakalpakstan region to seek independence. According to the draft amendments, Karakalpakstan will retain its autonomy, but a constitutional clause giving it the right to secede on the basis of a referendum will be taken out. Another amendment would change presidential eligibility from two five-year terms to two seven-year terms, while nullifying the previous presidential terms of a president.
Turkmenistan Issuing Passports to Dual Nationals After Berdymukhamedov Visit to Moscow
Turkmen officials have resumed issuing travel passports to residents with dual Turkmen-Russian citizenship following President Serdar Berdymukhamedov's visit to Russia earlier this month. Previously Turkmenistan forced dual nationals to choose between Turkmen and Russian citizenship and refused to issue Turkmen passports to those who wanted to preserve both nationalities.
(Sources: ANI News, AzerNews, Eurasianet, Euronews, Fergana News Agency, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, OC Media, RFE/RL, SimpleFlying, TASS, and The Times of Central Asia)