Headlines from the Caspian: April 12, 2022
Author: Caspian Policy Center
Apr 12, 2022
Energy and Economy
Azerbaijani Central Bank President Replaced
President Ilham Aliyev relieved Central Bank President Elman Rustamov of his post, replacing his position on the Bank’s board with 38-year-old Paşa Bank CEO Taleh Kasimov. The decision ends Rustamov’s 27-year stint at the post.
Source: Mikroskop Media
Kazakhstan to Limit Grain and Flour Exports for Two Months
Kazakhstan will impose export quotas on grain and flour until mid-June, the Vice-Minister of Agriculture announced. To prevent domestic shortages, Kazakhstan will export no more than 1 million tons of wheat and 300,000 tons of flour.
Source: Fergana News Agency
China to Build Solar Power Plant in Kyrgyzstan
A Chinese energy consortium will build a 1-gigawatt solar power plant in Kyrgyzstan. The power plant will reportedly be built in Issyk-Kul.
Source: Fergana News Agency
Russians Flock to Central Asia Opening Bank Accounts
An estimated 10 thousand Russian citizens have acquired the personal information numbers necessary to do banking in Kazakhstan since Russia invaded Ukraine. Russian individuals as well as Belarusian and Russian corporations have taken advantage of Kazakhstan’s straight-forward registration process.
Uzbekistan Reduces Income Tax Rate for Foreign Citizens
President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, has outlined a number of business reforms to be enacted throughout 2022. The measures are aimed at improving business conditions to create sustainable economic growth by developing the private sector. One key provision set to go into effect on May 1 drops the income tax on non-resident income from up to 20 percent to 12 percent.
Source: UZ Daily
Baku, Tashkent set to expand rail cargo transportation
Delegations from Azerbaijan Railways and Uzbekistan Railways met in Tashkent to discuss further areas of cooperation. Both sides agreed to deepen trade ties between the states and pursue the further opening of trade through their territory connecting East Asia and Europe.
Uzbek Deputy Finance Minister Meets with World Bank Representatives
Uzbek Deputy Finance Minister Jamshid Abruev met with a World Bank Delegation led by Senior Economist of the Department of Social Protection and Labor of the World Bank Maddalena Honorati. Participants identified areas for further cooperation to develop a social protection system in Uzbekistan and agreed to work towards enacting the discussed proposals to expand mutually beneficial relations between Uzbekistan and the World Bank.
Source: UZ Daily
Security and Politics
Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers Hold a Phone Conversation
On April 11, the Foreign Minister of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan held a phone conversation with the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramov. The Ministers exchanged views on the creation of the commission on delimitation and border security, preparation of peace negotiations and humanitarian issues.
Kazakhstan Ends Land Border Restrictions
As of April 11, Kazakhstan has ended restrictions at its land borders with Russia, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. The restrictions were put in place March 2020 to reduce the number of nonessential travelers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Members of the European Parliament Visit Tbilisi
A delegation of the European Parliament met with Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili in Tbilisi on April 11. The officials discussed a number of issues including Georgia’s official application for membership in the European Union, the importance of strengthening Black Sea regional cooperation, and ongoing security challenges related to Russia’s continued occupation of Georgian territories. Garibashvili additionally expressed Georgia’s political and humanitarian support for Ukraine.
Armenian Foreign Minister, Minsk Group French Co-Chair Discuss Developments
Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and the OSCE Minsk Group’s French co-chair Brice Roquefeuil met in Yerevan to discuss recent developments surrounding the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. They discussed the role of Russian peacekeepers and the possibility of a peace accord between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Pashinyan to meet Putin in Moscow on April 19
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on April 19 in Moscow. This comes after Pashinyan met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and European Council President Charles Michel.