CPC - Caspian Policy Center


The Caspian Region in the COVID-19 Era: Implications for Security Policy and Regional Cooperation

The Caspian Region in the COVID-19 Era: Implications for Security Policy and Regional Cooperation

Increasing regional cooperation between the Caspian’s Eastern and Western shores is a promising trend for the region and the United States. Initially started with connectivity projects, this cooperation not only mitigates COVID-19-related trade disruptions but also emerges as a critical stabilizing factor in this strategically important region. This has also become a key conduit of U.S. assistance to Afghanistan and the latter’s development. However, recent events have highlighted the urgent need for and value of strengthening such cooperation in light of growing challenges. The onset of COVID-19 pandemic coupled with substantially depressed energy prices put additional pressure on regional governments in light of the terrorism problem in neighboring regions, exacerbating global competition as well as existing and potential conflicts. In combination, these developments could cause large-scale upheaval in the regional security landscape.

The Caspian Policy Center will bring together high-level regional security policy specialists as well as senior representatives of the U.S. Departments of Defense and State to discuss the situation in the region. Specific topics will include sharing experiences and best practices in securing borders and societies during the pandemic, facilitating a more effective regional response to transnational challenges, and opportunities and need for bolstering regional and broader international cooperation.

09:00 – 9:05   Welcome remarks – Efgan Nifti, Executive Director, Caspian Policy Center

09:05 – 10:25   Panel discussion


  • Ambassador Henry S. Ensher, U.S. Department of State


  • Clark Adams, U.S. Department of Defense, Director, Central Asia Policy
  • Hikmet Hajiyev, Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan, Head of the Department of Foreign Policy Affairs of the Presidential Administration
  • Iskander Akylbayev, Executive Director, Kazakhstan Council on International Relations, Kazakhstan
  • Akramdjan Nematov, First Deputy Director, Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan
  • Christina Bell, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Attaché to the U.S. Mission to the European Union and the Kingdom of Belgium
  • Andrew Breithaupt, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Representative to U.S. European Command
  • H.E. Elin Suleymanov, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the United States
  • Eldor Tulyakov, Executive Director, Development Strategy Center, Uzbekistan

10:25 – 10:30   Closing remarks