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headlines from the caspian: april 23, 2024

Headlines from the Caspian: April 23, 2024

Author: Caspian Policy Center

Apr 23, 2024

Image source: global-recycling.info

Energy and Economy

Kazakhstan Announces Major Investment in Recycling Sector

On April 18, Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources announced it would invest the equivalent of $448.2 million into the country’s domestic recycling sector. According to a Kazakh official, the money will be funneled into 94 different projects, 37 of which are factories. Kazakhstan’s goal is to reach 40% share of waste recycled by 2030.

Source: Astana Times

Surge in Chinese Light Vehicle Shipments to Kazakhstan

The General Customs Administration of China has released figures on the import of light vehicles to Kazakhstan, reporting a 23.1% increase in the first quarter of 2024. In total, Kazakhstan imported 20,100 light vehicles from China in the first three months of the year.

Source: AKIpress

Abu Dhabi Exchange, Tashkent Stock Exchange Sign MoU on Digitalization

On April 19, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) and the Tashkent Republican Stock Exchange (RSE) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on digital connectivity. According to the agreement, RSE will be included as the fifth member of the Tabadul Digital Exchange Hub, a digital exchange platform operating in the Middle East. The sides also agreed to collaborate on enhancing electronic trading and post-trading systems and exchanging insights on modern trading technologies. 

Source: Daryo.uz

Azerbaijan Increases Imports of Turkmen Gas by 2.5 Times in January

According to the data published in the trade bulletin of the State Statistical Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan, in January 2024, Azerbaijan increased its natural gas imports from Turkmenistan by 2.5 times. Throughout the month, a total of 161 million 309.35 thousand cubic meters of gas was imported from Turkmenistan in the amount of approximately $24 million.

Source: Caspian Barrel

Security and Politics


Armenia Returns Four Villages to Azerbaijan in Gazakh Region

During the 8th meeting between the state commissions for border demarcation between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the two sides reached a preliminary agreement, including determining the border along Azerbaijan's Gazakh province in line with the border that existed when the Soviet Union collapsed. According to the agreement, the border line will pass through the villages Baganis Ayrim, Ashagi Askipara, Kheyrimli, and Gizilhajili, were under Armenian control since the First Karabakh War, and will be returned back to Azerbaijan. The parties also agreed that a draft regulation on the commissions' joint activities should be signed by July 1. 

Source: Daily Sabah

Russian Peacekeepers Depart Karabakh

On April 17, Kremlin spokesman Dimitry Peskov confirmed that Russian peacekeepers were beginning to depart from the long conflict-engulfed Karabakh region. Since then, footage has circulated online that seems to show Russian forces departing. Under previous agreements, the roughly 2000 peacekeepers had been slated to remain in the region until 2025 and had performed some post-conflict tasks since the region's turnover in September 2023.

Source: JAM-News, Interfax

Protests Continue Against Foreign Agents Law in Georgia

Since Monday, the 15 of April, thousands of protesters have continually gathered in Tbilisi, Georgia, in opposition to the second attempted passage of a bill that would apply the label “Organization Pursuing the Interest of an Outside Power” to NOGs that receive 20% or more of funding from foreign donors. Critics, both domestic and international, have pointed out its similarity to bills that have passed in authoritarian countries, most notably Russia, that have served as a precursor to civil society repression. Georgian Dream officials announced they will hold a rally of their own supporting the bill on April 29. 

Source: RFE/RL

David Cameron Begins Central Asia Trip

On April 22, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron began a multi-day trip throughout Central Asia in Tajikistan. Cameron will visit all five post-Soviet Central Asians states as well as Mongolia and has stated that the trip heralds a “new era” in British-Central Asian relations. The diplomatic trip aims to improve cooperation on economic growth, counterterrorism, and climate concerns. The meetings will also likely focus on anti-Russian sanctions evasion.

Source: The Standard

Sources: AkiPress, Astana Times, Caspian Barrel, Daryo, Daily Sabah, JAM News, Interfax, RFE/RL, The Standard

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